Skip to main content
Sign In
 

Women's Reproductive Health Research (WRHR)


University of Colorado Women's Reproductive Health Research Career Development Center (UC-WRHR Center)

 

The WRHR Program was initiated in 1998 to provide the opportunity for obstetrician/gynecologists (OB/GYNs) who recently completed postgraduate clinical training to further their education and experience in basic, translational, and clinical research. Program sites provide departments of OB/GYN with an opportunity to create a talented pool of junior investigators with expertise in women's reproductive health research. The WRHR Program is sponsored by the NICHD, through its Gynecologic Health and Disease Branch (GHDB), and co-sponsored by the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health using the NIH Mentored Research Scientist Development Program Award (K12) mechanism.

The University of Colorado Denver is home to world class health care and research programs in women’s health including reproductive disorders of adults and adolescents, perinatal/fetal biology, cancer biology, obesity, contraception, endocrinology, infectious disease and mental health disorders related to pregnancy.  The goal of the UC-WRHR Center is to enable obstetricians and gynecologists to become successful physician scientists by providing outstanding research training and career development in these areas. 

The UC-WRHR Center has an outstanding group of mentors from basic science and clinical departments within the University of Colorado School of Medicine and from the Colorado School of Public Health to provide guidance for UC-WRHR Scholars.  Our mentors have an excellent record of training physician scientists in basic, clinical and translational research pursuits.  UC-WRHR Center Scholars have access to diverse education and research opportunities including masters and PhD programs offering specialized training in Reproductive BiologyMolecular Biology, Public Health and Clinical Science.

In 1999, the University of Colorado, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology was awarded by NIH one of the first Women’s Reproductive Health Research Career Development Centers in the United States.  Funding for the UC-WRHR Center was renewed from 2005-2010, 2010-2015, and just recently again through 2020.

 

The UC-WRHR Center is located at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado, which is part of the greater Denver metro area.  The campus integrates the Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Dental Medicine; College of Nursing; Colorado School of Public Health; University of Colorado Hospital; and Children’s Hospital Colorado.  It will also soon be home to the new VA Hospital.

 

Requirements

·         MD or MD/PhD with completed residency in a US program (applicants with significant research experience will be given priority)

·         No previous NIH independent research awards (R01, R03, or K award)

·         United States citizen or permanent resident with an Alien Registration Card (Green Card)

 

Apply

We are not currently accepting new scholars. Please check back periodically for updates.

 

Program Administration

Nanette Santoro, MD – Principal Investigator

Professor and E. Stuart Taylor Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Contact Information:

University of Colorado Denver

Anschutz Medical Campus

Academic Office 1, MS B-198

12631 East 17th Avenue

Aurora, CO 80045

Phone: 303-724-2041

FAX:  303-724-2061

Email:  nanette.santoro@ucdenver.edu

 

Raj Kumar, PhD – Program Director

Professor, Division of Reproductive Sciences; 

Associate Vice Chair of Research, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Contact Information:

University of Colorado Denver

Anschutz Medical Campus

RC-2, Mail Stop 8613

12700 East 19th Avenue

Aurora, CO 80045

FAX: 303-724-3512

Email:  raj.kumar@ucdenver.edu


Jeanelle Sheeder, MSPH, PhD – Program Director

Associate Professor of Gynecology and Pediatrics

Contact Information:

University of Colorado Denver

Anschutz Medical Campus

12631 E. 17th Ave, Box B198-2

Aurora, CO 80045

Phone:  303-724-2272

FAX: 303-724-2056

Email: jeanelle.sheeder@ucdenver.edu

 

Chanel Mansfield – Program Support

Research Services Manager

Contact Information:

University of Colorado

Anschutz Medical Campus

RC-2, Mail Stop 8613

12700 East 19th Avenue

Aurora, CO 80045

Phone:  303-724-6501

FAX: 303-724-3512

Email: chanel.mansfield@ucdenver.edu

 

Mentors

Steve Abman, MD, Professor of Pediatrics; Director, Pediatric Heart Lung Center  

Linda Barbour, MD, MSPH, Professor, Department of Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology

Andrew Bradford, PhD.  Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Assistant Dean, Essentials Core Curriculum

Tim Byers, MD MPH, Professor of Epidemiology; Associate Dean for Public Health Practice, Colorado School of Public Health

Sean Colgan, PhD, Levine-Kern Professor of Medicine and Immunology; Director, Mucosal Inflammation Program; Vice Chair for Research, Department of Medicine

Heide Ford , PhD, Professor of Pharmacology and Obstetrics and Gynecology

Jacob (Jed) Friedman, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics; Director, NIH Center for Human Research Metabolism Core Laboratory

Michael Holers, MD, Professor and Head, Division of Rheumatology

Kathryn B. Horwitz, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes

Edward Janoff, MD, Tim Gill Professor of Medicine and Microbiology; Director, Mucosal and Vaccine Research Program Colorado

Thomas Jansson, MD, PhD, Florence Crozier Cobb Endowed Professor and Chief, Division of Reproductive Sciences; Vice Chair of Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Dwight Klemm, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine

Wendy Kohrt, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine; Center for Women’s Health Research

Mark Laudenslager, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry; Director, Behavioral Immunology and Endocrinology Laboratory

James McManaman, PhD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Director, Integrated Physiology Graduate Program

Lorna Moore, PhD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Lee Niswander, PhD, Professor, Pediatrics and Developmental Biology; Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator

Theresa Powell, PhD, Professor, Pediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynecology

Judith Regensteiner, PhD, Professor of Medicine

Jane E-B Reusch MD, Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry

Jennifer Richer, PhD, Associate Professor, Pathology

Randy Ross, MD, Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Psychiatry

Nanette Santoro, MD, Professor and E. Stuart Taylor Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Carol Sartorius, PhD, Associate Professor, Pathology

Stephanie Teal, MD Professor and Chief, Division of Family Planning, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Margaret E. Wierman, MD, Professor of Medicine, Physiology and Biophysics; Chief of Endocrinology, Denver VAMC

 

Current and Past Scholars


Current WRHR Scholars

Margo Harrison, MD, MPH, FACOG (2017-Present)

Dr. Harrison joins the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology as a WRHR Scholar in June 2017. She received her MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 2010 and completed fellowships in Family Planning and Global Maternal and Child Health at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Harrison's focus is on researching methods to improve diagnosis of labor dysfunction, transfer to a facility, and delivery of high-quality emergency obstetrical care in low-resource settings, while promoting access to comprehensive family planning services.


Torri Metz, MD, MS (2016-Present)

Dr. Metz is and Assistant Professor in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of Colorado Denver and Perinatologist at Denver Health Medical Center. She received her MD from the University of Colorado Denver in 2004 and also completed her residency at UCD in 2009. Dr. Metz earned an MS in Clinical Investigation and completed her fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of Utah in 2012. Dr. Metz's research interests center on the use of marijuana in pregnancy and during lactation. She currently leads a research team that aims to better understand the prevalence of marijuana use in a state with legalized recreational marijuana.


Past WRHR Scholars

Crystal Adams, MD (2010-2015)

Dr. Adams received her MD from the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio in 2006. In 2010, she completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center – Austin.  This was followed by a one-year fellowship in gynecologic and minimally invasive surgery at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle.  Dr. Adams has been a WRHR scholar and assistant professor at the University of Colorado since 2012. Her research interests are centered on the modulation of gene expression in ovarian malignancy, with a goal to better understand the mechanisms behind cancer cell resistance to chemotherapy and the development of molecularly targeted treatment modalities. 


Camille Hoffman, MD (2010-2015)

Dr. Hoffman received her medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2003, completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital in 2007, and completed a fellowship in Maternal Fetal Medicine at University of Colorado in 2010.  Following fellowship, she became a faculty member and WRHR Scholar at the University of Colorado.  Dr. Hoffman's research interests focus on the role of psychosocial and physiologic stress on pregnancy outcomes.  She is evaluating ultrasound and noninvasive biomarkers of stress to assess maternal and child hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function.

Laxmi A. Kondapalli, MD, MSCE (2011-2013) 

Dr. Kondapalli received her medical degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine in 2002 and completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University in 2006. She remained at Northwestern from 2006-2008 as a post-doctoral research fellow in reproductive biology lab of Teresa K. Woodruff, PhD. She completed her Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility fellowship and received a Master of Science degree in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania in 2011.  Dr. Kondapalli is currently a staff physician at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine and Director of the Colorado Fertility Preservation Program.  She retains a Clinical Assistant Professor appointment  at the University of Colorado Denver.  Dr. Kondapalli's research interests focus on late effects of cancer therapy on gonadal function, fertility preservation methods, and childhood outcomes after assisted reproduction.   

 

K. Joseph Hurt, MD, PhD (2010-2012)

Dr. Hurt graduated with MD and PhD degrees from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.  He completed his residency in Gynecology & Obstetrics also at Hopkins in 2009, then spent one year as a research fellow in the neuro-urology research laboratory of the Hopkins Brady Urological Institute.  Dr. Hurt recently completed a fellowship in maternal fetal medicine at the University of Colorado Denver and is currently an Assistant Professor.   His laboratory works to understand the role of the gastrotransmitters nitric oxide and hydrogen sulfide in regulating myometrial quiescence and parturition, with the goal of developing novel therapies to prevent preterm birth. 

 

Irina Dimitrova, MD (2005-2009)

Dr. Dimitrova received her MD from Sophia University, Bulgaria in 2001 and completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oakwood Medical Center, Dearborn, MI.   She was accepted into the Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship at the University of Colorado.   Her research interests focus on microRNAs in ovarian cancer and microarray analysis to identify mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of uterine leiomyosarcomas and leiomyomata. 

 

Monique A. Spillman, MD, PhD (2006-2010)

Dr. Spillman received and MD/PhD from University of Texas, Southwestern in 1999 and completed her residency at Brigham and Women's Boston (2003).  She was Gynecologic Oncology at Duke University from 2003 – 2006.  Dr. Spillman was recruited UCD in 2006 as an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and promoted to Associate Professor in 2012.  In 2014, she was recruited to the Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center in Dallas Texas.  She continues to be actively involved in gynecologic oncology research and clinical training. Dr. Spillman’s research interests focus on understanding hormonal regulation of human ovarian cancer using mouse xenograft models.

 

Virginia D. Winn, MD, PhD (2007-2010)

Dr. Winn received an MD, PhD, from the University of Rochester in 1996 and completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of San Francisco in 2000.  She was an MFM Fellow at UCSF from 2000-2003 and an Instructor/Adjunct Professor from 2003-2006.   Dr. Winn was recruited to UCD as an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology with a joint appointment in Cell and Developmental Biology in 2006. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012.  In 2014 she was recruited to Stanford University as an Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Director of the Division of Perinatal Biology.  Dr. Winn’s research interests are to understand the genes and molecular pathways modulated during the formation and function of the maternal-fetal interface.  She is specifically interested in how these pathways contribute to obstetrical complications such as preeclampsia. 

 

Lorraine Dugoff, MD (2006-2008)

Dr.  Dugoff received her MD from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1989 and completed fellowships in Maternal Fetal Medicine and Clinical Genetics and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. She is currently is an Associate Professor, in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.    Her research focuses on the identification of maternal serum markers for screening and prediction of preeclampsia, fetal chromosomal anomalies and perinatal birth defects.    

 

Henry Galan, MD (2000-2003)

Dr. Galan is Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Colorado Denver.  He is the Co-Director of the Colorado Fetal Care Center and has directed the Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship Program since 2000.  Dr. Galan’s research focuses on the hemodynamics of intrauterine growth restriction. 

 

Radika Gogoi (nee Ghatge), MD, PhD (2000-2005)

Dr. Gogoi is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Lankenau Institute for Medical Research and Lankenau Hospital, Wynnewood Pennsylvania.   Following completion of her WRHR Fellowship she completed a fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at New York University.  Dr. Gogoi has been an attending clinician/researcher at the Siegfried and Janet Weis Research Center at Geisinger Medical Institute since 2011.  Her research interests are HPV promoter for targeted cell death of HPV infected cervical cancer cells and the role of estrogens role in the development of pulmonary mycobacterium avium complex.