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Directory of Expertise in Women's Health

This list of over 75 faculty summarizes the breadth of work being conducted in women's health at UTMB. Contact Don Dietiker, x74918, to request a listing in this directory.

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Research Directory P-Z

no photoLuis Pacheco, MD
Assistant Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology and anesthesiology

Research Interests:: Maternal-Fetal Medicine, maternal hypo/hypertension, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes mellitus.


patelPooja Rani Patel, MD
Assistant Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology

Research Interests: Adolescent Contraception, Cervical Dysplasia, DNA Damage and Mutagenesis in Gynecologic Cancers.


photoM. Kristen Peek, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health

Research Interests: Aging and health disparities; mental and physical health in late life; marriage and health in late life.

Contact: 409-772-2551;

J. Regino Perez-PoloJ. Regino Perez-Polo, PhD
Professor and Chair, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Sealy Center for Molecular Science

Research Interests: Molecular and cellular mechanisms of cell death in trauma to the nervous system. Rational development of intervention cocktails in trauma based on genomic analyses. Role of transcription factors in stress response signal transduction. In vivo gene transfer in trauma. Gender and age effects on responses to stroke.

Contact: 409-772-3667;

photoCarolyn Phillips, RN, PhD
Associate Professor, School of Nursing

Research Interests: Feminine/maternal adaptation, family development, female body image, maternal depression; maternal identity development; maternal role change;adoptive mothers.

Contact: 409-772-8234;

photoRichard Pyles, PhD
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics

Research Interests: Evaluation of toll-like receptor responses against sexually-transmitted diseases and utilization of TLR agonists as potential microbicides to protect against STDs. For this work my lab focuses on study of the interaction of herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and 2) and Chlamydia trachomatis with the genital tract of the human host.

Contact: 409-747-8142;

photoMahbubur Rahman, MBBS, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Obesity; weight loss behaviors; nutritional awareness; body composition; bone density; behavioral risk factors for chronic disease; racial disparity

Contact: 409-772-2978;

ramadossJayanth Ramadoss, PhD
Assistant Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology

Research Interests: Maternal-fetal biology, fetal physiology, integrative physiology, obstetric medicine, uterine biology, reproductive endocrinology, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, cardiovascular biology, endothelial biology, fetal growth and development.

Contact: 409-772-9057;

richardsonGwyn Richardson, MD
Assistant Professor, OB-GYN Oncology

Research Interests: Gynecologic Oncology.

Contact: 409-747-0474;


rudkinLaura L. Rudkin, PhD
Assistant Professor, Preventive Medicine & Community Health

Research Interests: Social gerontology; demography.



ruppRichard Rupp, MD
Professor of Pediatrics; Director, Division of Adolescent and Behavioral Medicine; Director, Office of Clinical Trials

Research Interests: Adolescent medicine and mental health, improving immunization rates, and vaccine clinical trials.



photoErik Rytting, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology

Research Interests: Maternal-fetal pharmacology, placental drug transport and permeation, nanoparticle surface modifications to improve drug targeting.

Contact: 409-772-2777;

photoGeorge Saade, MD
Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology

Research Interests: Pre-eclampsia; Labor.

Contact: 409-747-4906;


photoHarold Sandstead, MD
Professor, Preventive Medicine & Community Health

Research Interests: Human nutrition in general with focus on zinc and associated essential metals, e.g., iron and copper; special interest on zinc in pregnancy, growth, development, and neuropsychological function; special interest in bioavailability and prevention of deficiency.

Contact: 409-772-4661;

sarpongKwabena Sarpong, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics; Medical Director of Galveston Based Pediatric Clinics

Research Interests: Vaccine safety and clinical trials; Child Maltreatment Services.

Contact: 409-772-1444;

photoStacy L. Sell, PhD
Senior Post-Doctoral Fellow, Pharmacology & Toxicology

Research Interests: Ovarian hormone actions in the brain, specifically their interactions with the molecular, cellular and behavioral responses to psychoactive drugs; developing and employing animal models to study the role of steroid hormones and the reproductive cycle in the etiology of addiction and affective disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Contact: 409-772-9687;

mooreMelinda Sheffield-Moore, PhD
Professor, Division of Endocrinology; Director,Translational Technologies Key Resource, Institute of Translational Sciences (ITS); Assistant Program Director, ITS-Clinical Research Center (CRC); Director, Core and Imaging Laboratories, ITS-CRC

Research Interests: The sarcopenia of aging and the cachexia of cancer in humans.

Contact: 409-772-8707;

photoVictor Sierpina, MD
Associate Professor, Family Medicine

Research Interests: procedures training; acupuncture; mind-body medicine; herbal therapies; dietary supplements and nutritional therapies; the therapeutic relationship; and spirituality in healthcare

Contact: 409-772-1847;

photoPomila Singh, PhD
Professor, Neuroscience & Cell Biology; Member Cell Biology and Human Biological Chemistry & Genetics graduate programs; Edna Seinsheimer Levin Professor of Cancer Studies

Research Interests: Growth factors (progastrins, IGF-II, IGF-BPs) and signalling pathways in colon carcinogenesis and chemoprevention of colon cancers.


sowersLawrence Sowers, PhD
John Sealy Distinguished Chair for MD/PhD Combined Degree Studies; Chair, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology;
Professor, Pharmacology and Medicine; Director, MD-PhD Combined Degree Program

Research Interests: The chemistry & biology of aberrant DNA; the role of DNA damage in human disease; molecular mechanisms involved in the development of breast cancer.


starkeyJonathan Starkey, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Institute for Translational Sciences & Preventive Medicine and Community Health

Research Interests: The deployment of informatics tools for clinical research and patient care.


tanAlai Tan, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Dept of Preventative Medicine & Community Health; Senior Biostatistician, Sealy Center on Aging

Research Interests: Methodology Research (Predictive modeling; Comparing statistical methods in evaluating care utilization or outcomes over time) & Health Services Research (Claims data, Refining health care quality measures).

Contact: 409-266-9668;

templeJeff Temple, PhD
Associate Professor, OB-GYN Family Violence; Director, Behavioral Health & Research

Research Interests: Teens & technology; Sexting; Dating violence; Verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse.

Contact: 409-747-8560;

photoMary Thomas, PhD
Professor, Pharmacology & Toxicology

Research Interests: Molecular actions and interactions of steroid hormones; effects of ovarian hormones on central serotonergic systems; neuroendocrinological phenomena underlying such problems as depression and drug abuse; behavioral and electrophysiological approaches to assess functional correlates of molecular changes.

Contact: 409-772-1561;

photoRandall Urban, MD
Professor and Chair, Internal Medicine
Director, Endocrinology Fellowship Program

Research Interests: Effects of growth factors on steroidogenesis; the physiological and molecular benefits of androgen therapy in older men and women; effects of thiazolidinediones on reproductive function and growth of cancer cells; and neuroendocrine dysfunction in people after closed-head injury; reproductive endocrinology; diabetes; and thyroid disease.

Contact: 409-772-1176;

vandenbergPatricia van den Berg, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology

Research Interests: Obesity; disordered eating behaviors; body image; sociocultural influences on problematic eating; family, peer, and media influences on eating  and activity; weight teasing; weight bias. 

Contact: 409-772-3997;

vincentKathleen Vincent, MD
Assistant Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology

Research Interests: Applying biomedical technologies to women’s health research; medications to prevent HIV & STD; pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics studies of vaginally applied drugs.

Contact: 409-772-2610;

photoKaren Wagner, MD, PhD
Professor and Vice Chair, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences

Research Interests: Child and adolescent psychiatric disorders; psychotherapy; psychopharmacology.

Contact: 409-747-8330;

photoCheryl S.Watson, PhD
Professor, Human Biological Chemistry & Genetics
CIRWH Associate Director of Basic Science Research

Research Interests: Identification, characterization, and regulation of a membrane form of the estrogen receptor involved in the instigation of rapid, nongenomic, estrogenic signaling cascades; estrogen-induced rapid release of prolactin, and changes in cell attachment, calcium levels, dopamine uptake and MAP kinases; actions of estrogenic mimetics such as dietary and environmental estrogens.

Contact: 409-772-2382;

nophotoSusan Weller, PhD
Professor, Preventive Medicine & Community Health

Research Interests: Cross-cultural health service research; cognition and methodology.

Contact: 409-772-2551;



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