Adams Waldorf Laboratory

Adams Waldorf oversees research being conducted in a lab

Our mission is to investigate infections in pregnancy and causes of preterm birth in order to develop new therapeutics and vaccines to protect pregnancies.

This is unpublished



The Adams Waldorf Lab is part of the Center for Reproductive Sciences and the Center for Innate Immunity and Immune Disease at the University of Washington in Seattle.



Kristina Adams Waldorf
Principal Investigator
(206) 616-3975 (office phone for research inquiries only)

Hazel Huang
Lab Manager

Our studies typically leverage a strong team of clinical and basic science collaborators. Ongoing studies generally fall into five areas:

  1. COVID-19 impact on pregnant and breastfeeding people
  2. Group B Streptococcus as a cause of preterm birth and stillbirth
  3. Zika virus as a cause of fetal brain injury
  4. Influenza virus as a cause of maternal death, preterm birth, and stillbirth
  5. Investigating vaccines & new drugs to prevent infectious disease, preterm birth, and stillbirth

Ongoing Studies and Social Media Campaigns

One Vax, Two Lives

National social media campaign to dispel myths about COVID-19 vaccination in pregnant and breastfeeding people. Visit website here.

Group B Streptococcus as a Cause of Preterm Birth and Severe Infections of the Newborn

We are currently recruiting subjects. For more information, please visit our study website.

Kristina Adams Waldorf with Rajagopal Lab

Kristina Adams Waldorf with Rajagopal Lab


We are grateful to current and past donors, who have funded the early work that led to bigger grants and discoveries in key areas like Group B Streptococcus infections in newborns, Zika virus therapies and the link between infection and autism.




Washington Post - Pregnant Women Aren’t Getting the Vaccines They Need


One Vax Two Lives Social Media and Research Program into Vaccine Hesitancy in Pregnancy (American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology article):

Publication link

Video on Facebook

Video on Instagram

Webinar organizer and panelist in partnership with the National Black Leadership Commission on Health to address questions regarding COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy
Meeting recording (access pass BHUW@032022)

Los Angeles Times - Coronavirus infection during pregnancy linked to brain development problems in babies

UW Medicine Newsroom - Making the case on social media for vaccination

BNR News - Are Covid-19 vaccines safe for pregnant and lactating women? 

BNR News - Dr. Kristina Adams Waldorf: Covid-19 vaccines are safe for pregnant and lactating women


Kristina Adams Waldorf at work
Kristina Adams Waldorf at work

Q13 News - Health experts urge pregnant women to get vaccinated for COVID-19 right away

UW Science in Medicine Lecture - Infections Targeting Pregnancy: From Molecular Biology to Novel Therapies to Protect the Mother and Fetus

Health Conversations with Anna Smith Podcast - Infectious Diseases and Pregnancy

KOMO News - Pregnant women have 70 percent higher chance of contracting COVID-19, study says

CNN - Pregnant women are at a 70% higher risk for Covid-19 infection, study finds

Q13 Fox Seattle - Study: Pregnant women more likely to die of COVID-19

Healio - Zika 5 years later: Still much to learn as ‘likely’ future outbreak looms


UW Medicine Thanks Tesla for Donation of N95 Masks - Greeting from Kristina Adams Waldorf, MD

KOMO 4 - Tesla donates 50,000 N95 masks to UW Medicine

Seattle Times - 50,000 N95 masks delivered to UW researcher’s home thanks to Elon Musk, Tesla


CNN - Exposure to infection increases risk for autism

Seattle Times - Opinion editorial on measles infections

KING 5 News (NBC)- Autism link to infections in pregnancy


Healio - Experts recommend a longer follow-up period for children with Zika

KIRO 7 News (CBS)- Zika damage may go undetected in pregnancy, UW study finds

FIGO (International Federation of Gynecology & Obstetrics) - Head size no indicator of Zika damage

Medical Xpress - Study shows how fetal infections may cause adult heart disease

The Naked Scientists (podcast) - Zika goes under the radar


STAT News - Congressional funding for Zika is not enough

STAT News - Zika infection causes brain stunting in monkey fetus


GAPPS (Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity & Stillbirth) - Preventing Preterm Birth Initiative


My Northwest - UW doctor developing at-home test for healthy pregnancies


Featured Research Articles (led or co-led by Adams Waldorf Lab)

  1. Coleman M, Orvis A, Wu T-Y, Dacanay M, Merillat S, Ogle J, Baldessari A, Kretzer NM, Munson J, Boros-Rausch A, Shynlova S, Lye S, Rajagopal L, Adams Waldorf KM. A Broad Spectrum Chemokine Inhibitor Prevents Preterm Labor but not Microbial Invasion of the Amniotic Cavity or Neonatal Morbidity in a Nonhuman Primate Model. Front Immunol 2020 Apr 30;11:770. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.00770. eCollection 2020. PMCID: PMC7203489
  2. Weed S, Liggitt HD, Johnson B, Tsai J, Beyer RP, Bammler TK, Kretzer NM, Parker E, Vanderhoeven JP, Bierle CJ, Rajagopal L, Adams Waldorf KM. MicroRNA Signature of Epithelial-mesenchymal Transition in Group B Streptococcal Infection of the Placental Chorioamniotic Membranes. J Infect Dis 2020; 71(15):879-881. PMID: 32296817. PMCID: PMC7184504
  3. Walker CL, Ehinger N, Mason B, Oler E, Little M-T.E., Ohuma EO, Papageorghiou  AT, Nayeri U, Curry C, Adams Waldorf KM. Predicting Zika Virus-Associated Congenital Injury by Fetal Growth Profile. PLOS One 2020 May 13;15(5):e0233023. PMCID: PMC7219748.
  4. Lokken EM, Walker CL, Delaney S, Kachikis A, Kretzer NM, Erickson A, Resnick R, Vanderhoeven J, Hwang JK, Barnhart N, Rah J, McCartney SA, Ma KK, Huebner EM, Thomas C, Sheng JS, Paek BW, Retzlaff K, Kline CR, Munson J, Blain M, LaCourse S, Deutsch G, Adams Waldorf KM. Clinical Characteristics of 46 Pregnant Women with a SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Washington State. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2020 May 18. PMCID: PMC7234933
  5. Coleman M, Armistead B, Orvis A, Quach P, Brokaw A, Gendrin C, Ogle J, Merillat S, Dacanay M, Wu T-Y, Munson J, Baldessari A, Vornhagen J, Furuta A, Nguyen S, Adams Waldorf KM*, Rajagopal L*. Hyaluronidase impairs neutrophil function and promotes Group B Streptococcus invasion, cervical ripening and preterm labor in pregnant nonhuman primates. mBio 2020; Apr 3: 770. PMID: 32425945. PMCID: PMC7203489. *co-corresponding authors
  6. Shynlova O, Boros-Rausch, Adams Waldorf KM, Lye S. Decidual inflammation drives chemokine-mediated immune infiltration contributing to term labor. J Immunol 2021 Oct 15;207(8):2015-2026. PMCID: PMC8742659
  7. Al-Haddad BJS et al. Long-term risk of neuropsychiatric disease after exposure to infection in utero. JAMA Psychiatry 2019 Mar 6.
  8. Walker CL et al. Femur-sparing pattern of abnormal fetal growth in pregnant women from New York City after maternal Zika virus infection. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2018 Aug;219(2):187 e181-187 e120.
  9. Adams Waldorf KM et al. Congenital Zika virus infection as a silent pathology with loss of neurogenic output in the fetal brain. Nat Med 2018 Mar;24(3):368-374.
  10. Mitchell T et al. Evidence of cardiac involvement in the fetal inflammatory response syndrome: disruption of gene networks programming cardiac development in nonhuman primates. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2018 Apr;218(4):438 e431-438 e416.
  11. Adams Waldorf KM et al. Fetal brain lesions after subcutaneous inoculation of Zika virus in a pregnant nonhuman primate. Nat Med 2016 Nov;22(11):1256-1259.
  12. Adams Waldorf KM et al. Uterine overdistention induces preterm labor mediated by inflammation: observations in pregnant women and nonhuman primates. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2015 Dec;213(6):830 e831-830 e819.
  13. Boldenow E et al. Group B Streptococcus circumvents neutrophils and neutrophil extracellular traps during amniotic cavity invasion and preterm labor. Sci Immunol 2016 Oct;1(4):aah4576.
  14. Vanderhoeven JP et al. Group B streptococcal infection of the choriodecidua induces dysfunction of the cytokeratin network in amniotic epithelium: a pathway to membrane weakening. PLoS Pathog 2014 Mar;10(3):e1003920.
  15. Adams Waldorf KM et al. Choriodecidual group B streptococcal inoculation induces fetal lung injury without intra-amniotic infection and preterm labor in Macaca nemestrina. PLoS One 2011 6(12):e28972.
  16. Adams Waldorf KM et al. Pretreatment with toll-like receptor 4 antagonist inhibits lipopolysaccharide-induced preterm uterine contractility, cytokines, and prostaglandins in rhesus monkeys. Reprod Sci 2008 Feb;15(2):121-127.

Featured Review and Perspective Articles (led or co-led by Adams Waldorf Lab)

  1. Nelson BR, Roby JA, Dobyns WB, Rajagopal L, Gale M, Adams Waldorf KM. Immune evasion strategies by Zika virus to infect the fetal eye and brain. Viral Immunol 2020 Jan/Feb; 33(1):22-37. PMCID: PMC6978768.
  2. LaCourse S, John-Stewart G, Adams Waldorf KM. Importance of inclusion of pregnant and breastfeeding women in COVID-19 therapeutic trials. Clin Infect Dis 2020 Apr 15; ciaa444. DOI: 10.1093/cid/ciaa444. Online ahead of print. PMCID: PMC7184504
  3. Sharps MC, Hayes DJL, Lee S, Zou Z, Brady CA, Almoghrabi Y, Kerby A, Tamber KK, Jones CJ, Adams Waldorf KM, Heazell AEP. a structured review of placental morphology and histopathological lesions associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Placenta 2020; 101:13-29. PMCID: PMC7443324
  4. McCartney SA, Kachikis A, Huebner EM, Walker CL, Chandrasekaran S, Adams Waldorf KM. Obesity as a contributor to immunopathology in pregnant and non-pregnant adults with COVID-19. Am J Repro Immunol 2020; Aug 11: e13320. PMID: 32779790. PMCID: PMC7435524
  5. McCartney SA, Kapur R, Liggitt HD, Baldessari A, Coleman M, Orvis A, Ogle J, Katz R, Rajagopal L, Adams Waldorf KM. Cytokine response in amniotic fluid is a superior predictor of fetal lung injury compared to maternal plasma or placental histopathology in a nonhuman primate model. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2021 Jul;225(1):89.e1-89.e16. PMCID: PMC8254735.
  6. Li M, Brokaw A, Furuta AM, Coler B, Obregon-Perko V, Chahroudi A, Wang H-Y, Permar SR, Hotchkiss CE, Golos T, Rajagopal L, Adams Waldorf KM. Nonhuman primate models to investigate mechanisms of infection-associated fetal and pediatric injury, teratogenesis and stillbirth. Front Genet 2021; 12(1054). PMCID: PMC8287178
  7. Coler BS, Shynlova O, Boros-Rausch A, Lye S, McCartney S, Leimert KB, Xu W, Chemtob S, Olson D, Li M, Huebner E, Curtin A, Kachikis A, Savitsky L, Paul JW, Smith R, Adams Waldorf KM. Landscape of preterm birth therapeutics and a path forward. J Clin Med 2021 2021;10(13):2912. PMCID: PMC8268657
  8. Brokaw A#, Furuta AM#, Dacanay M, Rajagopal L*, Adams Waldorf KM*. Bacterial and host determinants of group B Streptococcal vaginal colonization and ascending infection in pregnancy. Front Cell Infect Micro 2021; 11: 720789. PMCID: PMC8446444. *co-corresponding authors, #equal contribution
  9. Furuta AM#, Brokaw A#, Manuel G, Marcell L, Dacanay M, Seepersaud R, Rajagopal L*, Adams Waldorf KM*. Bacterial and host determinants of group B Streptococcal infection of the neonate and infant. Front Micro 2022; 13 :820365. PMCID: PMC8899651. *co-corresponding authors, #equal contribution
  10. Cervantes O, Cruz Talavera I, Every E, Coler B, Li M, Li A, Li H, Adams Waldorf K. Role of hormones in the pregnancy and sex-specific outcomes to infections with respiratory viruses. Immunol Rev. 2022 Jul; 308(1):123-148. PMID: 35373371; PMCID: PMC9189035.
  11. Marcell L, Dokania E, Navia I, Baxter C, Crary I, Rutz S, Soto Monteverde MJ, Simlai S, Hernandez C, Huebner EM, Sanchez M, Cox E, Stonehill A, Koltai K, Adams Waldorf KM. One Vax Two Lives: A Social Media Campaign and Research Program to Address COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in Pregnancy. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2022 Jun 22:S0002-9378(22)00476-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2022.06.022. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35752303; PMCID: PMC9221742.
  12. Al-haddad BJS et al. The fetal origins of mental illness. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2019 Jun 15; doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2019.06.013
  13. Armistead B et al. Double Life of Group B Streptococcus: Asymptomatic Colonizer and Potent Pathogen. J Mol Biol 2019 Jan 31.
  14. Walker CL et al. Zika virus and the nonmicrocephalic fetus: why we should still worry. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2019 Jan;220(1):45-56.
  15. Adams Waldorf KM et al. The Aftermath of Zika: Need for Long-Term Monitoring of Exposed Children. Trends Microbiol 2018 Sep;26(9):729-732.
  16. Vornhagen J et al. Perinatal Group B Streptococcal Infections: Virulence Factors, Immunity, and Prevention Strategies. Trends Microbiol 2017 Nov;25(11):919-931.
  17. Lannon SM et al. Synergy and interactions among biological pathways leading to preterm premature rupture of membranes. Reprod Sci 2014 Oct;21(10):1215-1227.
  18. Adams Waldorf KM et al. Influence of infection during pregnancy on fetal development. Reproduction 2013 146(5):R151-162.
  19. Adams Waldorf KM et al. Use of nonhuman primate models to investigate mechanisms of infection-associated preterm birth. BJOG 2011 Jan;118(2):136-144.
  20. Adams KM et al. The changing maternal "self" hypothesis: a mechanism for maternal tolerance of the fetus. Placenta 2007 May-Jun;28(5-6):378-382.
  21. Adams KM et al. Microchimerism: an investigative frontier in autoimmunity and transplantation. JAMA 2004 Mar 3;291(9):1127-1131. PMID14996783