The Center for Perinatal Studies
The Center for Perinatal Studies is a partner of the OB/GYN Department at Swedish. Research investigators, in collaboration with Swedish clinicians and other affiliates, conduct studies related to common pregnancy complications, such as hypertension, diabetes, and abruptio placentae, as well as other pregnancy outcomes, including low birth weight and preterm delivery. Funding for these studies comes primarily from the National Institutes of Health, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, and other federal sources. Additional funding comes from private sources including March of Dimes, John Locke, Jr. Foundation, Apex Foundation, and Swedish Medical Center Foundation.
The Center's philosophy is to improve the overall health of pregnant women and newborns through quality clinical and public-health research. We seek to provide relevant information for patient management and development of health policies affecting mothers and children.
Our Mission is to increase knowledge about the causes and consequences of adverse pregnancy outcomes, and to use this knowledge to reduce the burden of morbidity and mortality in maternal and infant populations, locally, nationally, and worldwide.
We study adverse pregnancy and perinatal outcomes that account for the majority of perinatal morbidity and mortality worldwide including preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, placental abruption, and preterm delivery.
View a list of research studies being conducted at the Center for Perinatal Studies at Swedish Medical Center.
Michelle A. Williams, Sc.D.
Co-director and Principal Investigator, Center for Perinatal Studies, Swedish Medical Center. Professor of Epidemiology, University of Washington, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Seattle, WA
Dr. Williams is Co-Director of the Center for Perinatal Studies at Swedish Medical Center, a multidisciplinary research program involving clinical scholars, basic scientists and epidemiologists. Her research program focuses on integrating genomic sciences and epidemiological research methods to identify risk factors, diagnostic markers, treatments, and prevention targets for disorders that contribute to maternal and infant mortality. Always interested in engaging young scholars in research, Dr. Williams, her collaborators, and her cadre of pre- and post-doctoral fellows actively study cohorts of pregnant women as they work to understand the determinants of preterm delivery, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and placental abruption. In her Unit's laboratory at Swedish Medical Center, she is working with scientists to identify unique gene expression patterns that may be used to predict which pregnant women will go on to develop hypertension in late pregnancy (preeclampsia) and/or deliver prematurely. She has authored or co-authored more than 175 original research papers.
Tanya Sorensen, M.D.
Co-director of the Center for Perinatal Studies, Swedish Medical Center
Dr. Sorensen is an associate clinical professor of OB/GYN at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She received her medical degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine. She also completed her residency in OB/GYN and fellowship in perinatal medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She has extensive research experience in perinatal epidemiology, particularly research involving biological markers of adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Carole B. Rudra, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, School of Public Health and Health Professions, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Buffalo, Buffalo, New York
Dr. Rudra is an affiliated research associate with the Center for Perinatal Studies, and she is a Co-Principal Investigator for the Ambient Air Pollution and Preeclampsia and Preterm Delivery grant. Dr. Rudra was a doctoral student under Dr. Williams at the University of Washington. Her current research interests include perinatal epidemiology and environmental health.
View Dr. Rudra's biosketch and publications (PDF).
Sixto E. Sanchez, MD, MPH
Professor of Epidemiology and General Director of Research and Technological Tranference at the National Institute of Health of Peru
Dr. Sixto Sanchez is a Peruvian OB/GYN who got his MPH at the University of Washington in 1966. Since that year, Dr. Sanchez has worked with Dr. Williams. They have been co-principal investigators of a FIRCA grant entitled "Genetic Risk Factors of Preeclampsia Among Peruvian Women" (RO3-TW011159). Dr. Sanchez is also a core faculty member of the University of Washington Minority/Multidisciplinary International Research Training (MIRT) Program, which is directed by Dr. Williams, in addition to having co-authored more than 12 papers and presentations together. Drs. Sanchez and Williams have also contributed to a Spanish language obstetrics and gynecology text book, and they developed and held an International Maternal Mortality Symposium in Lima, Peru.
David Luthy, M.D.
Medical Director of Obstetrics/Gynecology and the Division of Perinatal Medicine, Swedish Medical Center
Dr. Luthy is a clinical professor of OB/GYN at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He completed his OB/GYN residency and fellowships in medical genetics and maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Luthy has extensive experience in perinatal research. He has been involved in this research since its inception. Other research interests include prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities, and evaluation of clinical management protocols for high-risk pregnancies.
View Dr. Luthy's biographical information.
View Research Publication - Obstetrics and Gynecology (PDF).
View Research Publication - New England Journal of Medicine (PDF).
Irena B. King, Ph.D.
Senior staff scientist, Public Health Sciences Core Laboratories, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Dr. King received her Ph.D., master's and undergraduate degrees from the University of Washington. She has an interest and extensive experience in the areas of nutritional biochemistry, and preeclampsia, cardiovascular and cancer epidemiology.
Center for Perinatal Studies
1124 Columbia Street, Suite 750
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: (206) 386-3332
Fax: (206) 215-6995