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Medical Screening and Special Testing Research

Medical Screening and Special Testing Research

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).

Contact Information:

Geralyn Messerlian, PhD, Director

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

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 on 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 on 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.