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Centers and Investigators

The OPRC Program is sponsored by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and is comprised of three clinical centers and a Logistic Coordinating Core (LCC).

Centers and Investigators

  • Northwestern University

    Feinberg School of Medicine, Asher Center for the Study and Treatment of Depressive Disorders

    Center Director: Katherine L. Wisner, MD, MS
    Clinical Project Lead: Catherine S. Stika, MD
    Basic/Translational Project Lead: Alfred L. George, Jr, MD
    Pilot Project Lead: Laura J. Rasmussen-Torvik, PhD
    Biostatistician: Jody D. Ciolino, PhD

    Research Focuses
    • Clinical Project: Optimizing Medication Management for Mothers with Depression (OPTI-MOM)
    • Pilot Project: SSRI Neonatal Discontinuation Syndrome
    • Basic/Translational Project: Pharmacogenomics of SSRI Optimization
  • University of Pittsburgh

    Magee-Womens Hospital, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences

    Center Director: Steve Caritis, MD
    Co-Investigator: Raman Venkataramanan, PhD

    Research Focuses
    • Clinical Project: Impact of Pregnancy on Buprenorphine Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics
    • Pilot Project: Safety and Feasibility of Vaginal Administration of 17- hydroxy Progesterone Caproate for Treatment of Preterm Delivery
    • Basic/Translational Project: Pharmacokinetics of Buprenorphine (BUP) in Pregnant Rats
  • University of Texas Medical Branch – Galveston

    Center for Development of Medication and Biologics for Treatment of the Pregnant Patient and Fetus

    Center Director: Gary Hankins, MD
    Associate Director: Mahmoud Ahmed, PhD
    Investigators: Maged Costantine, MD
                          Tatiana Nanovskaya, DDS, PhD
                          Erik Rytting, PhD
                          Shannon Clark, MD
                          Xiao-ming Wang, PhD
    Senior Research Coordinator: Holly West, DHEd, PA-C
    Educational Director: Wayne Snodgrass, MD, PhD
    Biostatistician: Jaque Baillargeon, PhD

    Research Focuses
    • Clinical Project: Determine the Pharmacokinetic (PK) parameters and collect preliminary safety data for pravastatin (20 mg) when used as a prophylactic daily treatment in pregnant women at high risk of preeclampsia
    • Pilot Project: Determine transplacental transfer of doxorubicin when formulated in nanoparticles for the treatment of breast cancer
    • Basic/Translational Project: Determine the role of placental enzymes and transporters in regulating fetal exposure to pravastatin
  • NICHD/OPPTB (Funding Agency/Sponsor)

    The Obstetric and Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics Branch (OPPTB), formerly the Obstetric and Pediatric Pharmacology Branch (OPPB), promotes basic, translational, and clinical research to improve the safety and efficacy of therapeutics, primarily pharmaceuticals and to ensure centralization and coordination of research, clinical trials, and drug development activities for obstetric and pediatric populations. The Branch is responsible for developing and supporting a comprehensive national effort to increase the knowledge base for understanding how to appropriately treat disease during pregnancy, infancy, childhood, and adolescence using therapeutic approaches including medications that are appropriately tested within their target populations.

    Medical Officer/Program Scientist: Zhaoxia Ren, MD, PhD
    Medical Officer/Program Officer: Katerina Tsilou, MD