Preterm birth affects nearly 1 in 8 infants every year in the United States. Preterm babies are at significant risk for death or lifelong disability, including mental retardation, learning and behavioral problems, cerebral palsy, seizures, respiratory problems, gastrointestinal problems, and vision/hearing loss. Despite extensive efforts to reduce the frequency of preterm birth, little progress has been made and the rate of has increased by 36 percent since the early 1980s.
The Multidisciplinary Preterm Birth Group at Columbia University Irving Medical Center is one of the only groups in the world that provides a truly multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to solving the problem of preterm birth. Our diverse group of dedicated individuals includes obstetricians specializing in preterm birth; physician-scientists and basic scientists from the Departments of Ob/Gyn, Anesthesiology, Pediatrics, Pathology, Radiology, and Dentistry; mental health specialists in the Departments of Ob/Gyn and Psychiatry; biomechanical engineers from the Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science; and computational biologists from Columbia’s Department of Systems Biology. The goal of this multidisciplinary group is to unravel the complex pathophysiology of spontaneous preterm labor and premature cervical remodeling and use cutting edge research methods to develop novel interventions to prevent preterm birth.