OBGYN News

Recent Publications

Anita Blanchard, MD, Section of Gynecology and Minimally Invasive Surgery authored a perspective in the New England Journal of Medicine entitled, “Code Switch.” In this piece, Dr. Blanchard describes her use and refinement of an adaptive strategy termed “code switching” to negotiate the biases and disconnects encountered as an African American clinician and highly accomplished academic physician.

Monica Christmas, MD, Section of Gynecology and Minimally Invasive Surgery published a perspective in Reproductive Sciences entitled, "#SayHerName: Should Obstetrics and Gynecology Reckon with the Legacy of JM Sims?" Dr. Christmas sheds light on the suffering enslaved women endured while patients of Dr. James Sims and their contributions to the optimization of his surgical technique for vesicovaginal fistula, while also positing that the profession must question if James Marion Sims is the name that truly embodies the values of obstetrics and gynecology. 

Dana McQueen, MD, MAS, Section of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, published an original research article in Fertility & Sterility entitled, “Redefining chronic endometritis: the importance of endometrial stromal changes.” In this article, Dr. McQueen and co-investigators outline specific diagnostic criteria for chronic endometritis and compare the prevalence of this disease in controls and women with recurrent pregnancy loss.

Ayman Al-Hendy, MD, PhD, from the Section of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery co-authored a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in February 2021. This study, "Treatment of Uterine Fibroid Symptoms with Relugolix Combination Therapy," suggests that once-daily relugolix combination therapy in women with uterine fibroids and heavy bleeding significantly reduces symptoms while avoiding hypoestrogenic effects. 

In January 2021, Katherine Kurnit, MD, MPH, Gini Fleming, MD, and Ernst Lengyel, MD, PhD published a review in the Green Journal entitled, "Updates and New Options in Advanced Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Treatment." The review summarizes the current standard of care for women with epithelial ovarian cancer, and highlights recent, high-impact studies that have the ability to transition epithelial ovarian cancer from a fatal disease to one that can increasingly be cured. 

Awards

Dr. Anita Blanchard, retired Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, has received the 2022 University of Chicago Medical & Biological Sciences Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award. This award honors alumni who push the boundaries of science and medicine “for the betterment of humanity.”

Throughout her career at the University of Chicago, Dr. Blanchard dedicated herself to embody the University’s academic missions: clinical, education, and research. She also devoted her career to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in medicine. She used her platform as a leader to create opportunities for others who faced limitations due to their diverse backgrounds.

Dr. Blanchard was a mentor to many residents, fellows, and faculty over the years. As UChicago Medicine’s associate dean for Graduate Medical Education and Designated Institutional Official, she supervised 133 residency and fellowship programs. She was an active participant in helping to guide the trainee’s successful transition from resident learner to outstanding physician provider.

The US News and World Report has ranked the University of Chicago (Pritzker) Obstetrics & Gynecology medical program 19th in the nation. 

Stacy Lindau, MD, MAPP, Catherine Lindsay Dobson Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, is the recipient of the 2022 Association for Clinical and Translational Science Award for Addressing Health Equity Through Partnership and Innovation. This award was established to catalyze research focused on health equity, injustice, and disparity issues in care to support the translation of discoveries into clinical applications that will have a widespread impact on health. In particular, the award recognizes proactive collaborations between academic researchers and community partners to advance clinical applications and practices that foster health equity and address health disparity issues.

Dr. Lindau was nominated by Dr. Doriane Miller, Professor of Medicine and Director of the University of Chicago Medicine’s Center for Community Health and Vitality, for her community-based work with MAPSCorps (501c3). MAPS Corps was started at the University of Chicago by Dr. Lindau with Dr. Miller, Dr. Daniel Johnson, Dr. Eric Whitaker, Emily Abramsohn, MPH, Karen Lee, MS, Jennifer Makelarski, Ph.D., and many others from the university and medical center who forged partnerships with community leaders to engineer and innovate strategies for long-term health and well-being. MAPS Corps often provides the first paid employment experience for half of participating youth. MAPS Corps has trained and employed more than 2300 high school students as data scientists in Chicago, New York City, Detroit, rural eastern North Carolina, and Honolulu, Hawaii. The program participants conduct an annual, technology-based comprehensive asset census of target geographies. Then these data are made publicly available for a wide range of applications, including the youths’ own scholarly and advocacy work, community economic development, entrepreneurship including clinical technology innovations, public policy, and connecting people to community-based support for good health.

Chicago magazine’s 2022 Top Doctors list includes a number of our faculty members and recognizes physicians across Chicago for being at the forefront of their field. Those named were selected by their peers based on several factors, including clinical excellence, bedside manner, education, and board certification.

Gynecologic Oncology

  • Dr. Nita Lee
  • Dr. Ernst Lengyel
  • Dr. S. Diane Yamada

Obstetrics & Gynecology

  • Dr. Anita Blanchard
  • Dr. Monica Christmas
  • Dr. Catherine Harth
  • Dr. Stacy Lindau
  • Dr. Kenneth Nunes
  • Dr. Maryam Siddiqui
  • Dr. Shari Snow

Maternal-Fetal Medicine

  • Dr. Sarosh Rana

Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility

  • Dr. A. Musa Zamah

Urogynecology

  • Dr. Juraj Letko
  • Dr. Sandra Valaitis

Chicago magazine’s 2021 Top Doctors list includes a number of our faculty members and recognizes physicians across Chicago for being at the forefront of their field. Those named were selected by their peers based on several factors, including clinical excellence, bedside manner, education, and board certification. Congratulations to Drs. Lee, Lengyel, and Yamada for being named to Top Docs for Gynecologic Oncology; and Drs. Blanchard, Christmas, Haider, Harth, Letko, Lindau, Nunes, Rana, Siddiqui, Snow, Valaitis, and Zamah for being named to Top Docs for Moms

Stacy Tessler Lindau, MD, MAPP, has been named the Catherine Lindsay Dobson Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 

Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, has been named the first AbbVie Foundation Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 

Read about the 21 UChicago faculty who received named, distinguished service professorships here.

Grants

Abir Mukherjee, P.D, staff scientist in the Ovarian Cancer Research (Lengyel) Lab has been awarded a Department of Defense Pilot Award for his project entitled, “Targeting Cancer-Associated Adipocytes Against Ovarian Cancer Metastasis.”

Adipose tissue can be characterized as either white or brown adipose tissue. While white adipose tissue is an energy storage organ, brown adipose tissue is responsible for carrying out non-shivering thermogenesis. Dr. Mukherjee has proposed that in the presence of ovarian cancer cells white omental adipocytes differentiate into beige adipocytes and aid in the establishment of omental metastasis. Physiologically beige adipocytes develop from white adipocytes and have distinct gene signatures and metabolic profile, but their role in cancer is unclear.

Ernst Lengyel, MD, PhD, Arthur L. and Lee G. Herbst Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is the recipient of a National Cancer Institute (NCI) R35 Outstanding Investigator Award (OIA). This award is given to investigators who have an outstanding record of cancer research productivity and is designed to provide them with the latitude for continued scientific innovation and research through long-term funding support. With this award, Dr. Lengyel will build on his novel findings of how the ovarian cancer microenvironment promotes metastasis via unique metabolic effects.

Read more about Dr. Lengyel's award here

Members of our faculty, participating in In cross disciplinary collaborations within the UCM, recently received a highly prestigious grant.

Dr. Stacy Lindau, with Drs. Elbert Huang and Katherine Thompson (Medicine/Geriatirics), was awarded an RO1 grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) for a CommunityRx-dementia study.  Dr. Lindau and her colleagues will carry out a randomized controlled trial testing non-intrusive, flexible interventions for the families, and other non-professional care-givers, of people with dementia.  The goal of these interventions is to match caregivers to critical community-based support. Anyone who has been, or known, a caregiver for a loved one with dementia knows how necessary and valuable this kind of support can be.

Members of our faculty, participating in cross-disciplinary collaborations within UCM, received a highly prestigious grant.

Dr. Mark Eckert  (research assistant professor in the Lengyel Laboratory) and Dr. Ernst Lengyel, with colleagues Drs. Anindita Basu (Medicine/Argonne) and Mengjie Chen (Human Genetics) have received funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to compile a "Female Reproductive Cell Atlas." The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was created by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, pediatrician Dr. Priscilla Chan, to fund projects that use technology to help solve a wide range of medical and societal challenges. This project will use novel methods for single cell RNA sequencing to characterize all the cell types in the healthy human female reproductive track, before and after menopause. The resulting atlas will not only show how menopause and aging affect the cells, but will provide a comprehensive reference for comparison to diseased tissue, yielding new data on how normal tissue gives rise to both benign and malignant gynecologic disease. This information is certain to inform the development of  exciting and effective new therapies.

Read more about this project here

Newsletters

Click here to read about UChicago Medicine's Postpartum Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring Program. For more patient information, visit our UChicago Medicine program page here

Click here to read about pelvic organ prolapse & the latest treatment options. 

Click here to read about the Diabetes in Pregnancy Program. 

Click here to read about overactive bladder treatments and research. 

Click here to read about the Center for Women's Integrated Health. 

Click here to read about the suggested management of microscopic hematuria

Click here to read about the University of Chicago Program in Integrative Sexual Medicine's approach to patients with sexual function concerns. 

Click here to read about gynecologic cancer care follow-up. 

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OBGYN Ranked No. 22 in 2021-22 U.S. News & World Report rankings