Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science Research

The strength of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science basic science research is that we combine scholarship with new clinical treatments to provide the best possible outcomes for our patients. From new approaches in cancer prevention and diagnosis to clinical trials, the critical research conducted at Mount Sinai has a long-tradition of dramatically improving the lives of our patients.

Since the early 1900's, our physicians and researchers have made seminal contributions to the field, including:

  • Pioneer in developing salpingography - x-ray visualization of uterine tubes with radio-opaque substance

  • Coined the term PMS (premenstrual syndrome)

  • Recognized the link between estrogen replacement therapy and endometrial cancer.

  • Among the first to use a combination regimen of chemotherapy for the treatment of ovarian cancer

  • Research on Clomid and Pergonal provided regimens that became the standard of care for the administration of these drugs in fertility treatments

  • Helped develop chorionic villus sampling as a routine genetic screening test

  • Developed an in-vitro fertilization technique (zona drilling) for helping sperm cells to penetrate egg cells

  • Led the international studies demonstrating that use of the drug Zidovudine could interrupt mother-to-child HIV transmission

  • Advanced the use of minimally invasive surgery in the treatment of benign and malignant gynecologic disease

Current Research Initiatives

  • A 5-year National Institutes of Health grant to study the different trimesters of pregnancy and their unique hormonal environments. Results from this study could change the way illness is managed in the pregnant patient, with the goal of improving outcomes through avoidance of hospitalizations and reduced miscarriage rates.

  • Clinical trials studying the use of vaccines for the prevention of cervical cancer and genital herpes

  • Clinical trial comparing the use of different chemotherapy agents in various stages of disease are being conducted in uterine and ovarian cancer. Mount Sinai trials also allow women with ovarian cancer access to Avastin (Bevacizumab) in combination with standard chemotherapy for first-line and second-line therapy.

  • Trials assessing the safe use of antiretroviral treatments for the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission

The clinical and scientific teams at the Icahn School of Medicine have been among the first to help women conceive using previously frozen eggs from egg donors, and our research teams continue to make advances in this emerging field. For women who must undergo potentially sterilizing chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer treatment, preserving eggs opens up the possibility of using their own genetic material to have a child after the disease has been treated. This also provides an exciting new possibility of fertility preservation for women who delay family-building.


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Dr. Rhoda Sperling and her team of researchers at Mount Sinai are international leaders in the field of HIV infection and its impact on pregnancy.
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