Click on the (+) below for a short summary of each Investigators area of research interest and expertise:

OBGYN Researchers

  • Vincent, Kathleen

    Kathleen Vincent, MD
    Obstetrics and Gynecology

    Our research focuses on application of biomedical engineering technologies to women’s health research.  I utilize imaging from the cellular level to whole body imaging for the study of maternal-fetal health, obesity, benign gynecologic disorders, bacterial vaginosis, and vaginal drug delivery.  Additionally, I collaborate with women’s health researchers to bring novel technologies into their field of research.   Research

The Vincent Lab


Research Focus

Dr. Vincent's research focuses on the development of drugs, devices, and diagnostics to improve women’s health, particularly in female reproductive health and pregnancy. They explore the use of emerging endoscopic imaging techniques for the evaluation of drug toxicity and the integrity of vaginal epithelial barrier while working with industry toward the development of safe and effective topical products aimed at HIV and pregnancy prevention. Dr. Vincent pioneered the use of the sheep model in this field for both toxicity and pharmacokinetic evaluations and has worked with collaborators to expand these assessments to include vaginal microbiome and inflammatory markers. She translated advanced imaging techniques into clinical research and is currently funded to conduct clinical studies that utilize advanced imaging and techniques to study the use of intravaginal rings to prevent HIV and for medical treatment of urinary incontinence. Additionally, Dr. Vincent lead's a collaboration between the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Biomedical Engineering Group at UTMB with the goal of effectively integrating biomedical engineering and imaging expertise and resources with translational research in women’s reproductive health research.

Research is translational with ongoing funding for preclinical and clinical studies. Through extensive efforts geared toward team building and team science, they have a team capable of taking a research project from concept to clinical trial, beginning with an idea, collaborating with drug development partners to formulate a drug, testing the safety and pharmacokinetics in small and large animal models, contributing to FDA IND approval, and conducting the early clinical studies. 

Preclinical research

The research team has pioneered and championed the use of the sheep model for vaginal drug delivery. Previously, nonhuman primates were considered the gold standard, however, we have shown that it is an excellent model for vaginal drug safety and pharmacokinetic studies, and it has now been accepted by funding agencies (NIH NIAID), CDC, and FDA as a widely used and acceptable model. Dr. Vincent consulted for NIH intramural investigators via ABL to guide them on the use of the sheep model, and to determine changes in vaginal microbiome and inflammatory markers in response to topical drug delivery. Dr. Vincent and her collaborator were recently invited to present this work to NIH NIAID. Their team has expanded the sheep model to systemic drug delivery (via subcutaneous implants) and surrogate post-coital testing of non-hormonal contraceptives. Her team has utilized preclinical studies in preparation for clinical studies to develop methods for sample collection and processing for use in clinical studies and to reformulate products planned for clinical studies. This interface between preclinical and clinical studies has afforded opportunities to explore drug effects and plan for clinical studies with novel exploratory endpoints. 

Dr. Vincent secured funding for a high-resolution ultrasound (US) imaging system and developed ultrasound and microCT protocols for the evaluation of pregnant mice/rats as well as echocardiography studies in pregnant dams and their offspring. These will use these imaging capabilities to enhance studies of obesity and preeclampsia models and potential treatments. We use high-resolution US technology to evaluate subdermal implants as a new safety biomarker in the sheep model.

Clinical and Translational Research

Clinical studies have primarily been focused on two areas: 1) testing of novel medical devices, especially vaginal rings for the delivery of drugs for the prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, and 2) pelvic floor dysfunction in aging women, especially urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Noninvasive imaging tools, developed in preclinical studies are used to improve the sensitivity of the toxicity evaluations. The team uses assessments of the vaginal microbiome and the impact of interventions and hormone changes. Clinical studies evaluating the medical treatment of urinary incontinence have led to patentable technology and technology commercialization funding.