Investigating molecular contributors to preterm birth

Discovery and precision health-focused research by the California Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi-CA) at UCSF seeks to better understand chronic stressors and protective factors that may affect preterm birth. We're here to reduce the incidence of preterm birth and eliminate racial disparities in preterm birth rates, while improving health outcomes for mothers and for babies.

Join us for a transdisciplinary symposium showcasing how members of the PTBi-CA research collaborative are exploring the molecular, exogenous and endogenous drivers of preterm birth and outcomes of prematurity.

Register today and view the full agenda.


Please note, this event is expected to reach capacity. Waitlisted individuals are invited to view the live stream at UCSF Mission Hall, Room 1400; details will be emailed to registrants the week before the event.


Sessions and Speakers

Welcome and Framing

  • Taking a cell-to-society approach to investigating preterm birth - Laura Jelliffe-Pawlowski, PhD - Associate Director of Precision Health, UCSF California Preterm Birth Initiative
  • Addressing race and health inequity in molecular investigations - Monica McLemore, PhD, MPH, RN - Assistant Professor, Dept. of Family Health Care Nursing, UCSF School of Nursing

Session 1: Multi-omics approaches to preterm birth

  • Genetics of prematurity – Emerging insights - Lou Muglia, MD, PhD - Co-Director, Perinatal Institute, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
  • Do telomeres play a role in pregnancy health and preterm birth? - Elissa Epel, PhD - Professor of Psychiatry, UCSF
  • Multi-omic profiling and preterm birth Michael Snyder, PhD - Director, Center for Genomics & Personalized Medicine, Stanford University

Session 2: Endogenous & exogenous drivers: Pregnancy

  • Investigation of mid-pregnancy viral pathogens in women with preterm delivery - Joe DeRisi, PhD - Co-President, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub
  • Cervical monitoring using the Smart Diaphragm – Measurement and investigation of molecular correlates - Larry Rand, MD - Principal Investigator and Director, UCSF California Preterm Birth Initiative
  • The role of prenatal exposure to vaccines, medications and drugs in preterm birth - Christina Chambers, PhD, MPH - Director of Clinical Research, Dept. of Pediatrics, UCSD

Session 3: Endogenous & exogenous drivers: Labor and newborn

  • Metabolic underpinnings of gestational age and complications of prematurity - Kelli Ryckman, PhD - Associate Professor of Epidemiology, University of Iowa
  • Towards delivery prediction using uterine electrical activity and maternal heart rate - Eric Dy, PhD - Co-Founder & CEO, Bloomlife Inc.
  • Maternal conditions and outcomes of prematurity -Elizabeth Rogers, MD - Director, Intensive Care Nursery Follow-Up Program, UCSF Benioff Childrens Hospital


Remote Access Information

  • Join from a PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android device: Meeting ID: 845-381-992
  • By telephone: +1 646 558 8656 (USA) or +1 877 369 0926 (Toll Free)


About the California Preterm Birth Initiative

Being born prematurely is the leading cause of death for children under 5, worldwide, and babies who do survive often face a lifetime of health complications. Rates of preterm birth are on the rise in the US, particularly among women of color, reflecting systemic inequity.

The California Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi-CA) is working to change this reality by conducting badly needed research to unlock paths to reduce preterm birth rates, address racial disparities, and improve birth outcomes for preterm babies. Our research is place-based, holistic, and considers social mechanisms hand in hand with biological factors. PTBi-CA conducts and funds research across the life course (preconception, prenatal, and postnatal) focused on and in collaboration with communities in Fresno, Oakland and San Francisco. Learn more about PTBi and sign up for our email list.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at 1:00pm to 5:15pm

Rock Hall, Auditorium
1550 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94158

Event Type

Lecture/Seminar, Special Event, Academic


School of Medicine


Students, Postdocs, Faculty, Staff, Local Community, Alumni, Patients


Mission Bay






Contact Info


Event Registration Required

This event requires registration.