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Research at Women & Infants

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One of the nation’s largest and most prestigious research facilities

Women & Infants Hospital is one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious research facilities in high risk and normal obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics. 

In 2015, the NICHD awarded Women & Infants Hospital and Brown University an additional five years of grant funding to support the Women’s Reproductive Health Research (WRHR) Career Development Program. With just seven active sites throughout the country, this highly competitive program provides a tailored research and career development plan to enable junior faculty obstetrician/gynecologists to develop into leaders in women’s health research.

Women & Infants’ researchers have received grant funding from hundreds of agencies and foundations, including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Genentech, Janssen, Tesaro, the National Institutes of Health, the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the Rhode Island Foundation, and the Society of Family Planning.

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Women & Infants with Brown University is:
  • A National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center of Biomedical Research Excellence for Perinatal Biology, the only one in the nation focused specifically on developmental research
  • A member of NRG Oncology, a National Cancer Institute funded, multi-institutional, cooperative research group with a major focus on gynecologic and breast cancer treatment
  • A member of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Maternal Fetal Medicine Units Network, a consortium of 12 premier clinical centers across the U.S. whose charge is to investigate problems in clinical obstetrics
  • A member of the 18-center NICHD Neonatal Research Network, investigating the safety and efficacy of treatment and management strategies to improve the outcome of sick newborns
  • A member of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD Pelvic Floor Disorders Network, conducting multi-centered trials studying pelvic floor disorders

Our Research Departments

Neonatal Research Network

The NRN has conducted multiple important clinical trials which have improved the outcomes of sick newborns and changed how neonatologists care for their patients

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Neonatal Follow Up Program

Investigators at Women & Infants’ Neonatal Follow-Up Program are active participants in single-center and multicenter clinical research studies

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The Brown Center Research

The Brown Center for the Study of Children at Risk was established at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital in 2005

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Medical Screening & 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

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Urogynecology Research

The Division of Urogynecology has many active research studies for pelvic floor disorders, including urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and bowel incontinence

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Obstetrics & Gynecology Research

Women & Infants Hospital is one of 21 centers that make up the Contraceptive Clinical Trials Network (CCTN)

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OBGYN Division of Research

Maternal Fetal Medicine Research

Brown/Women & Infants Hospital is one of 12 university-based clinical centers that make up the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development MFMU Network

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Women's Reproductive Health Research

The Women's Reproductive Health Research (WRHR) program was initiated by the National Institutes of Health

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Oncology Research

The Research Program in Women’s Oncology at Women & Infants Hospital is a nationally recognized leader in gynecologic and breast cancer clinical trials

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Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute at Brown University

The Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute aims to improve the lives of children and their families in Rhode Island through cutting-edge research, clinical practice, public health efforts, and training for future child health leaders. Our longitudinal birth cohort study, known as the Hassenfeld Study, based at Women & Infants Hospital provides a framework for maternal and child health research across several important areas, including social determinants of health, gestational diabetes, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and more. 

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Women & Infants Institutional Review Board

Women & Infants’ Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a committee established to review and approve research involving human subjects. The purpose of the IRB is to protect the rights and welfare of human research subjects and to ensure that all human subject research be conducted in accordance with federal, state, institutional, and ethical guidelines.

To access the IRB Meeting Dates and Deadlines, go to the IRBNet WIH Forms and Templates library.

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Kilguss Research Institute

The Kilguss Research Institute is home to the Center for Perinatal Biology (CPB). CPB started as an NIH-funded Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE). It is now a self-supported center doing advanced research on fetal development and reproductive medicine. CPB provides scientific and career mentorship to junior faculty within an environment that fosters creativity and transdisciplinary collaboration. CPB's cadre of renowned and emerging scientists is making important breakthroughs in improving the health of newborns and mothers.

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Clinical vs Science Research

What is clinical research?

Clinical research, which involves clinical trials and other research protocols, are strictly controlled human studies of new and emerging therapies. This type of research involves real people participating in studies that are done to test whether a new drug, a new prevention strategy, or a new screening test is safe and effective in people.

Clinical research allows doctors from various disciplines to evaluate new forms of treatment, how best to apply recent developments in medicine, and to ensure that patients have the opportunity to receive the latest state-of-the-art care.

Clinical trials and clinical research at Care New England must first be approved by an Institutional Review Board, which includes doctors, administrators, ethicists and members of the general public. Volunteers are fully informed of possible risks and sign a consent form before being accepted into a clinical trial.  

What is basic science research?

Basic science research is conducted to help doctors better understand what causes a disease, to analyze how current treatments work, and to develop potential new therapies.

Basic science research is done in laboratories using beakers and test tubes, not people. Investigators look at the micro - the cellular and molecular level of life - to better understand the macro, such as diseases and disorders.

While the implications for discoveries in basic research are sometimes unknown, discoveries by basic science researchers become the foundation for important breakthroughs in medical treatments and diagnostic technologies.