News

Holly RichterMore than 20 million women in the United States suffer from loss of bowel control, sometimes called accidental bowel leakage or fecal incontinence, and Alabama resident Rhonda Green was one of them. Green’s life was put on hold as she suffered from loss of bowel control for more than nine years.
In July, Holly E. Richter, Ph.D., M.D., director of the UAB Division of Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery, introduced Green to the Eclipse System, a new nonsurgical treatment designed to provide immediate bowel control.
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Danny PaskoOb/Gyn resident Danny Pasko chosen for inaugural year of new Chief Quality Resident Program (CQRP) that exposes participants to relevant concepts and prepares them for potential leadership positions.
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Holly RichterResearch led by the University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery shows a vaginal bowel-control system designed by Pelvalon is the first device to successfully control fecal incontinence, also known as accidental bowel leakage, via a vaginal insert. The results of the research, known as the LIFE study, are available now online and will be published in the March 2015 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

"The LIFE study results indicate that Eclipse will offer an important new therapeutic option for women with accidental bowel leakage," said Holly E. Richter, Ph.D., M.D., director of the Division of Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery at UAB and immediate past president of the Society for Gynecological Surgeons.  
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JosephBiggioSome babies may be genetically predisposed to being born too soon, and variants in the DNA of the fetus — not the mother — may be the trigger for some early births.
That is the finding of research conducted by Joseph Biggio, M.D., professor and director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and his colleagues from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Genomics and Proteomics Network for Preterm Birth Research. The March of Dimes will present its award for Best Research in Prematurity to Biggio for this work during the annual Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine meeting, which begins today in San Diego, California.  
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Warner K. Huh About 80 million U.S. women ages 25 to 65 — or 1.2 million women across Alabama — should be screened periodically by their health care providers for cervical cancer. At present, the standard way to do that is a Pap smear alone, or co-testing using both a Pap smear and a human papillomavirus (HPV) test. Today, the clinicians who care for those women are getting new interim guidance about the health advantages of instead using the HPV test alone as the primary screen to find cervical cancer or its precursors. Under the new guidance, the Pap smear, which dates back more than 80 years, would still be used for follow-up tests if an HPV test is positive. The Pap smear will still be used for primary screening of women under age 25.  
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TitaThe University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Department of Biostatistics have been awarded a $19.31 million R01 grant by the National Institutes of Health’s Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to coordinate the most comprehensive study of chronic hypertension in pregnancy ever undertaken.
The Chronic Hypertension and Pregnancy Project (CHAP) is a multicenter, randomized trial which will enroll between 4,700 and 5,700 pregnant women during the next six years with a primary aim to evaluate the benefits and potential harms of pharmacologic treatment of mild chronic hypertension in pregnancy, a decades-old question that has remained unanswered.  
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holly richterThe American Urogynecologic Society and the International Urogynecological Association have honored the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology for work in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development-sponsored Pelvic Floor Disorders Network, with the 2014 Best Paper in Basic Science award.

The award is given annually and was presented at the AUGS/IUGA Scientific Meeting.
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Rodney Edwards 300As a baby slides out of the birth canal, on the way to its first breath, its body becomes coated in its mother's microbes. This first interaction with outside organisms could be key to shaping the development of the baby's immune system.

Our microbes, collectively called the microbiome, most often live in harmony with our bodies. They support the immune system, help to digest food and keep the metabolism on track, and fight off disease-causing bacteria. But researchers suspect that mom's microbiome could play a role in when her children are born, and what happens to them as they grow.  
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TitaTheUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology has enrolled the first patient in the United States in a Phase III clinical trial for a drug to treat preeclampsia in pregnant women that, if successful, would be a significant clinical breakthrough for reducing pre-term births and infant mortality.

“Currently, when patients have preeclampsia, all we have to offer is delivery of the baby as the ultimate treatment,” said Alan Tita, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in UAB’s School of Medicine and a lead investigator for the trial. 
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Tongia Feagins1The Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology (OB/GYN) was recognized recently by the UAB Benevolent Fund for its fund-raising efforts. The department was awarded the School of Medicine Outstanding CampaignAward for the 2014 campaign. Moreover, Tongia F. Feagins, department campaign coordinator, was awarded an outstanding coordinator award, which consisted of two round-trip airline tickets.  Employee contributions helped raise more than $1,910,000 in pledges to the UAB Benevolent Fund. These funds support programs that provide health care screenings, safe harbor for survivors of domestic violence, nutritious meals for the hungry, cutting edge medical research and assistance for our co-workers in times of need.
Joseph biggio Joseph R. Biggio Jr., M.D., professor and director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was recently published in Obstetrics and Gynecology, the journal of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  In his paper "Bed Rest in Pregnancy", Dr. Biggio argues that until data from well-designed, appropriately powered studies demonstrate favorable outcomes with activity restriction, physicians should contemplate whether the risk–benefit ratio justifies prescribing it.  Dr. Biggio's paper has been referenced in numerous publications including the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Obstetrics & Gynecology:
June 2013 - Volume 121 - Issue 6 - p 1158–1160
doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e318294480d
Obstetrics and Gynecology Journal:  Bed Rest in Pregnancy: Time to Put the Issue to Rest
New York Times:  Really? The Claim: For a Difficult Pregnancy, Bed Rest Is Best
Washington Post:  New study questions the value of bed rest in preventing premature birth

Michael StraughnThe University of Alabama System Board of Trustees named John Michael Straughn Jr., M.D., as the J. Max Austin Jr. M.D. Endowed Chair in Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) during its meeting April 12, 2013.  Dr. Straughn completed medical school, residency training and fellowship training at UAB prior to becoming a faculty member in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology in 2003. 

Warner K. Huh
The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees named Warner K. Huh, M.D., to the Margaret Cameron Spain Endowed Chair in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) during its meeting April 12, 2013. Huh, a professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, holds appointments in the Center for AIDS Research and the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center .  Dr. Huh received his medical degree from Georgetown University, trained as a resident at Tufts University , and completed fellowship training at UAB prior to becoming a faculty member in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology in 2002.