Landscape of Preterm Birth Therapeutics and a Path Forward

Drs. Adams Waldorf, McCartney, and Kachikis recently published a paper presenting possible steps to expedite drug development and meet the growing need for effective preterm birth therapeutics. Read more at the link below.

Mission: Our aim is to conduct rigorous and equitable clinical and basic science research to address scientific questions relevant to pregnancy and reproductive health. We are focused on understanding infectious diseases and immune responses in pregnancy, vaccines and therapeutics, maternal-fetal communication, hypertensive diseases in pregnancy, and placental biology. Through this important work, we strive to enhance reproductive outcomes for our patients across their lifespan.

Notable achievements

  • Among the first to describe the association of genital tract and intrauterine infections with preterm birth
  • Among first to use mass-spectrometric proteomics to discover biomarkers for infection, preterm birth, and preeclampsia
  • Known for testing immunotherapeutics for the prevention of preterm labor in our nonhuman primate model

Meet the Principal Investigators

Adams Waldorf, Kristina

Kristina Adams Waldorf, MD
Research Interests: bacterial and viral infections in pregnancy, host-pathogen interactions in pregnancy, mechanisms of preterm labor, therapeutics and vaccines in pregnancy, tolerance mechanisms within the plancenta, innate and adaptive immunity in pregnancy and fetal development, Group B Streptococcus, Zika virus, Influenza A virus, SARS-CoV-2
Centers & Networks: Center for Reproductive Sciences, Center for Innate Immunity and Immune Disease, Center for Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases, Center for Human Development and
                                             Disability, the Pathobiology Program (Department of Global Health)
                                             and the Washington National Primate Research Center




Michael Gravett, MD
Research Interests: Preterm labor, perinatal infectious diseases, proteomics, and the maternal-fetal interface
Centers & Networks: Nuffield Dept.of Women's & Reproductive Health University of Oxford, Preterm Birth International Collaborative Global





Alisa Kachikis, MD, MSc
Research Interests: preventing pre-term birth, infections and immunizations in pregnancy, global health and health equity
Centers & Networks: Center for Reproductive Science





Stephen McCartney, MD, PhD
Research Interests: placental and reproductive immunology, preeclampsia, preterm birth, infections in pregnancy, biological therapeutics
Centers & Networks: Center for Reproductive Science




Raj (Swati) Shree, MD
Research Interests: preeclampsia, maternal-fetal communication, reproductive origins of disease, cell-free DNA
Centers & Networks: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Department of Cardiology, Preeclampsia Foundation, Preeclampsia Registry, Seattle Children's Research Institute, UW Solid Tumors and Genetics Laboratory
Studies Currently Recruiting: Preeclampsia and later-life cardiovascular disease




Lucia Vojtech, PhD
Research Interests: Immune tolerance to pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, reproductive and mucosal immunology
Centers & Networks: Extracellular RNA Communication Consortium, The Human Placenta Project
Studies Currently Recruiting: Paternal-specific tolerance during pregnancy