Research Experience

Research Curriculum:

Research training is focused on the interests of the individual fellow. We have opportunities for research in epidemiology, clinical trials, translation research and basic science. Fellows will design their research projects in collaboration with mentors within the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. However, we encourage a multidisciplinary approach to research. Current studies in the department are conducted in conjunction with investigators from the College of Medicine, College of Public Health, College of Nursing, College of Engineering, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, and College of Arts and Sciences.  

Training also includes formal conferences and didactic lectures focused on research education. 

  • Journal club (monthly)
  • Perinatal Research Seminar (quarterly)
  • Joint MFM/Neonatology  Research Conference
  • Divisional Research updates (monthly)
  • Scientific Review Committee (monthly)  

The research curriculum includes  include both a formal didactic component and practical research experience that will provide a well-rounded experience in study design, study execution, manuscript preparation, and grant writing.  

Didactic Sessions (joint with Neonatology)  

Didactic sessions are taught through weekly classes over the course of 3 months. Topics include the following:

  • Responsible Conduct of Research/Ethics
  • Introduction to Epidemiology
  • Introduction to Biostatistics
  • Statistical Methods in Epidemiology
  • Rates and Proportions
  • Regression Analysis
  • Observational Studies
  • Clinical Trials I & II
  • Health Outcomes Research
  • Informatics in Research
  • Translational Research I &II
  • Basic Science Techniques  

Practical experience:
Each fellow is assigned to a faculty mentor whose research interests most closely match those of the fellow. Faculty and fellow work closely together in developing and conducting a series of research projects, designed to give the fellow practical experience in the research methodologies that will be essential for success in the fellow's content area.  

There are four tracks:

  1. Clinical epidemiology / clinical effectiveness /cost effectiveness 
  2. Molecular epidemiology
  3. Clinical trials
  4. Translational research  

It is expected that the fellow will complete research projects during the 3 years of fellowship. Typically, this includes retrospective studies, meta-analysis and at least one prospective study.  Additional research projects are encouraged. Timeline  

Year 1

  • July: Introduce fellow to potential mentors during orientation.
  • August-December:
    • One-on-one discussions with potential mentors.
    • Selection of research mentor.
  • January-June:
    • Create basic hypothesis for research project.
    • Begin to conduct studies in laboratory of research mentor.
    • Start participation in the Scientific Review Committee
    • Present research concept to the MFM Division

Year 2

  • July-December:
    • Conduct studies in laboratory of research mentor.
  • January-June:
    • Conduct studies in laboratory of research mentor.
    • Submit abstracts to Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine, AIUM, Society of Reproductive Investigation
    • Submit abstract and present data at the USF Annual Research Day.
    • Present background, hypothesis, and data to Division of MFM (15 minute presentation).
    • Present work in progress at the Perinatal Research Seminar.

Year 3

  • July-December:
    • Complete studies in laboratory of research mentor.
    • Submit abstracts to Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine, AIUM, Society of Reproductive Investigation or other discipline specific meeting
  • January-June:
    • Conduct studies in laboratory of research mentor.
    • Complete Manuscript
    • Thesis defense  

Recent Fellow Publications:  

Adetola Louis-Jacques, MD

  • Louis-Jacques A, Salihu HM, King LM, Paothong A, Sinkey RG, Salemi JL, Pradhan A, Siegel E, Riggs B, Whiteman VE. The positive association between umbilical cord red blood cell folate and fetal telomere length at birth supports a potential for fetal re-programming. Nutrition Research. PMID: 27269132
  • Louis-Jacques, A.F., Maggio L, Romero St. “Prenatal Screening for Thrombophilias: Indications and Controversies, an Update.” Clin Lab Med. 2016 Jun. PMID: 27235922
  • Louis-Jacques, A. F., et al. "Umbilical cord blood telomere length and folate levels–a potential pathway for fetal re-programming." Nutrition Research (2016). In Press.
  • Louis-Jacques AF, Obican S, Nguyen T, Odibo A. Prenatal Diagnosis of Aortopulmonary Window associated with Aberrant Subclavian Artery. Cardiology in the Young (2016). In Press.
  • Groer, M. W., Ashmeade T., Louis-Jacques, A., Beckstead, J., Ji, M. Relationships of Feeding and Mother's Own Milk with Fecal Calprotectin Levels in Preterm Infants" Breastfeed Med. 2016 Mar 22. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 27002351
  • Groer, M. W., Gregory, K. E., Louis-Jacques, A., Thibeau, S. and Walker, W. A. (2015). The very low birth weight infant microbiome and childhood health. Birth Defects Res C Embryo Today. 2015 Dec;105(4):252-64. doi: 10.1002/bdrc.21115. Epub 2015 Dec 10. Review. PMID: 26663857
  • Sinkey RG, Salihu HM, King LM, Paothong A, Louis-Jacques A, Pradhan A, et al. Homocysteine Levels Are not Related to Telomere Length in Cord Blood Leukocytes of Newborns. Am J Perinatol. 2015 Dec 21. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 26692203  
 Rachel Sinkey, MD
  • Sinkey RG, Garcia MR, Odibo AO.  Does adjunctive use of progesterone in women with cerclage improve prevention of preterm birth? J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2017 Jan 31. PMID: 28068860
  • Louis-Jacques A, Salihu HM, King LM, Paothong A, Sinkey RG, Salemi JL, Pradhan A, Siegel E, Riggs B, Whiteman VE. The positive association between umbilical cord red blood cell folate and fetal telomere length at birth supports a potential for fetal re-programming. Nutrition Research. PMID: 27269132
  • Sinkey RG, Odibo AO, Dashe J. Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) Consult Series #37: Diagnosis and management of vasa previa. American Journal of obstetrics and gynecology 2015 November;213(5):615-9. PMID: 26292048
  • Sinkey RG, Habli MA, South AP, Gibler WW, Burns PW, Eschenbacher MA, Warshak CR. Sonographic markers associated with adverse neonatal outcomes among fetuses with gastroschisis: An eleven year, single-center review. American Journal of obstetrics and gynecology 2016 February;214(2):275.e1-7. PMID: 26454131
  • Sinkey RG, Pavelka JC, Guenther JM, Schuler KM, Basil JB. Combination Risk-Reducing Breast, Gynecologic and Reconstructive Surgery Among High-Risk Women: Does Surgical Order Impact Outcome? Journal of Gynecologic Surgery. March 2016, 32(2): 124-128.
  • Echebiri NC, Sinkey RG, Szczepanski JL, Shelton JA, McDoom MM, Odibo AO. Placental Alpha-Microglobulin-1 Test in Resource-Limited Settings. A Cost-Effective Analysis. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2016 March;127(3):584-91. PMID: 26855102
  • Sinkey RG, Salihu HM, King LM, Paothong A, Louis-Jacques A, Pradhan A, Bruder KL, Zoorob R, Siegel E, Riggs B, Whiteman VE. Homocysteine Levels Are not Related to Telomere Length in Cord Blood Leukocytes of Newborns. American Journal of Perinatology 2016 May;33(6):552-9. PMID: 26692203