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The Division of Medical Screening and Special Testing conducts multiple research studies related to prenatal screening, pregnancy health, female infertility and women’s cancers. Staff also leads a collaborative effort with the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology on biomarkers for women’s health (CBET, Center for Biomarkers and Emerging Technologies).

Current research topics include:

  • Prenatal screening and fetal health
    • Demonstrating the feasibility of routine prenatal screening for fetal aneuploidies using maternal plasma cell free DNA.
    • Development of a multiple marker screening test and novel therapies for preeclampsia in pregnancy.
    • Structured evidence review: Angiogenic factors and predicting severe adverse pregnancy outcomes.
    • Methods development for systematic review of rare disease interventions.
    • Systematic evidence review: Treatment of Mucopolysaccharidosis Type II (Hunter syndrome).
    • Evaluating placental growth factor (PlGF) as a first trimester marker for Down syndrome.
    • Document the impact of pulse oximetry Newborn screening for critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) in New England.
    • Evaluating educational materials relating to cell free DNA screening for fetal aneuploidy.
  • Women’s health o The pathophysiology of sleep disordered breathing in pregnancy.
    • Biomarkers for adverse birth outcomes.
    • Impact of thyroid hormones on maternal and fetal health.
    • Assessing a high sensitivity AMH assay as a marker of menopause.
  • Female infertility
    • AMH assay validation and utility as a marker for ovarian reserve in women.
  • Women’s cancer o Application of HE4 and other novel markers for early detection of ovarian and endometrial cancers.
    • Assessing the benefits and harms of routine screening for BRCA1/2 mutations in younger women.
Contact Information:

Geralyn Messerlian, PhD, Director
gmesserlian@wihri.org  

Division of Medical Screening and Special Testing
70 Elm Street, 2nd Floor
Providence, RI
(401) 453-7650