Research in Obstetrics and Gynecology includes projects in various subspecialties of women’s health. Studies are conducted as part of independent faculty research, as well as resident research done as a required component of the OB/GYN residency training program. Projects include evidence-based medicine, prospective randomized clinical trials and basic science studies to evaluate novel therapies and biomarkers. Studies are completed as collaboration between Ob/Gyn Faculty and Cannon research staff.
In addition, the OB/GYN Faculty participates in multi-center industry-sponsored clinical trials in the subspecialties of Gynecologic Oncology, Reproductive Endocrinology, Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Urogynecology.
Mission Statement: to contribute to women’s health initiatives through evidence-based medicine, as well as to enhance clinical outcomes related to obstetric and gynecologic health through the development of innovative diagnostic and prognostic tools.
History of the Laboratory
The OB/GYN Research laboratory is located in the Sonya Hanko Wyatt Molecular Biology Laboratory, a division of Molecular Biology Core Facility on the second floor of Cannon Research Center. OB/GYN Research at Cannon Research Center was established in 1989 to investigate the molecular basis and epidemiology of HPV in cervical cancer. Since 1996, the research focus of the laboratory has been mainly on Gynecologic Oncology, and, in particular, on Ovarian Cancer under the direction of gynecological oncologists at the Levine Cancer Institute as well as Reproductive Endocrinology.
Research Summary and Major Accomplishments
The Reproductive Endocrinology and Gynecologic Oncology divisions of OB/GYN have been involved with several studies in the field of endometrial and ovarian cancer in collaboration with the Molecular Biology Core Facility. Several publications have resulted from these studies and have led to the establishment of women’s health research endowments from local sources. Among ongoing projects at the OB/GYN Research Laboratory are the following: genomic and proteomic studies of epithelial ovarian cancer; studies of expression of estrogen and progesterone receptor splice variants in human endometrium and endometrial carcinoma; studies of differential gene expression and biomarkers in the endometrium and serum of fertile and infertile women with endometriosis; and gene expression profiling of vaginal tissue in patients with and without pelvic organ prolapse.
In 2010, the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Principal Investigator Rebecca Usadi, MD were invited to be an ancillary site for the Reproductive Medicine Network. The RMN is a multicenter network of clinical sites that, through a cooperative agreement with the NIH and NICHD's Reproductive Sciences Branch, conduct clinical studies to investigate problems in reproductive medicine, including infertility, reproductive disorders and diseases in men and women that affect fertility, and endocrinological disorders affecting reproduction.
The RMN was established in 1990 to carry out large, multicenter clinical trials in the areas of male and female infertility and reproductive diseases and disorders.
The first study to be initiated at CMC with the RMN is a trial of the safety and efficacy of letrozole, an aromatase inhibitor, compared to clomiphene citrate in achieving live births in infertile women with PCOS.
Principal Investigators and Administration
Mac Ernest, MD, Chair Designate
David Tait, MD, Associate Director of Gynecological Oncology / Lead Investigator for basic and translational research in Gyn Oncology, Group Leader
James B. Hall, MD, Division Director of Gynecological Oncology, Blumenthal Cancer Center, Group Leader
Robert Higgins MD, Associate Director of Gynecological Oncology / Residency Program Director
R. Wendel Naumann MD, Associate Director of Gynecological Oncology / Director of Minimal Invasive Surgery, Gynecological Oncology
Paul Marshburn, MD, Division Director of Reproductive Endocrinology, Group leader
Bradley Hurst, MD, Director of Assisted Reproduction, Group Leader
Susan Kullstam, Administrative Director, OB/GYN Administration and Research
Mollie Elliott, OB/GYN Research Nurse
Sharlene Wright, OB/GYN Research Assistant
Nury Steuerwald, PhD, Director, Molecular Core Laboratory
Judy Vachris-Parsons, Senior Research Analyst, Molecular Biology Core Facility
Kevin Thompson, PhD, Post Doctoral Research Fellow
Timothy Tickle, Bioinformatics Center, UNCC, PhD student
Jennifer Weller, PhD, Bioinformatics Center, UNCC, Collaborator
704-355-3153 or 704-355-2940 (Phone)
Make a donation:
You may make a tax-deductible contribution to:
Women’s Cancer Research Fund
c/o Carolinas HealthCare Foundation
P.O. Box 32861
Charlotte, NC 28232-2861
or online at Carolinas HealthCare Foundation.