University of Texas Medical Branch Professor George R. Saade has been appointed to the National Advisory Child Health and Human Development Council of the National Institutes of Health by Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. secretary of Health & Human Services. Of the 18-member council, Saade is one of 12 individuals selected from the leading representatives of the health and scientific disciplines in the nation relevant to maternal and child health.

In this role, Saade will work with other council members to advise and consult with the director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development on research, support activities and functions of the institute. Saade is considered one of the nation’s leading experts on maternal and fetal medicine. His basic science research focuses on fetal-maternal physiology and developmental programming. He is also involved in a number of multicenter trials addressing various complications of pregnancy, including hypertension, preterm birth and intrapartum hypoxia.

The term begins immediately and will end Nov. 30, 2017. Saade said he is honored to serve on the council. “Pregnancy is truly a window to future health for both mother and child. Anything we can do to improve pregnancy outcomes will have significant, long-term benefit to society,” Saade said. “This appointment recognizes the national reputation of UTMB’s research and clinical programs. It would not have been possible without the support of the entire Ob-Gyn department, and the investment in maternal and infant health care.

“I am grateful to the staff in my lab, the members of the Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Perinatal Research Divisions at UTMB and our department chairman, Dr. Gary Hankins, for their invaluable help and support. I am also indebted to all those who have mentored me over the years,” he added.

Saade is Jennie Sealy Smith Distinguished Chair in the UTMB Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, chief of obstetrics and director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. He is also the medical director of the Perinatal Research Division.

Saade joined UTMB in 1995 has more than 300 articles published in peer-reviewed journals. He has edited or authored several books and book chapters and is a reviewer for more than 20 prestigious journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, the FASEB journal, PLoS, the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is a past president of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. He has served on the Editorial Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation, and Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy journals, and has been the Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Perinatology for the past 10 years. Saade is currently the principal investigator on two NIH-funded clinical research networks, the Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network and the Maternal Fetal Medicine Units Network, and a co-investigator on a number of other grants. He is also actively involved in clinical practice in maternal-fetal medicine and has been voted as Best Doctor and selected to Super Doctors several years in a row.