Funded Projects

UCSF Resource Allocation Program 

The California Preterm Birth Initiative leverages the UCSF Resource Allocation Program (RAP) to attract great ideas from University of California and affiliated investigators across all disciplines, as well as community researchers. Our hope is that these promising studies will generate preliminary data that will support future NIH and foundation proposals.

The following is a list of research projects supported by the California Preterm Birth Initiative through the UCSF Resource Allocation Program (RAP). Learn more about the grant process, and apply for funding, here.

Discovery Projects

Telomere Length as a Predictor of Preterm Birth and Growth in Latino Neonates

Janet Wojcicki, PhD, MPH | Pediatrics | UCSF School of Medicine

Our study assesses the role of infant and maternal leukocyte telomere length in Latino infants in relation to known risk factors for preterm birth and growth outcomes in preterm babies.  Specifically, in mothers, we assess the relationship between maternal telomere length and known risk factors for prematurity such as advanced and younger maternal age and exposure to smoking, diabetes mellitus and hypertension in pregnancy.  In infants, we assess the relationship between telomere length at birth and rapid infant weight gain, a risk factor for future obesity.

Qualifying risk: Exploring how life course stress experiences influence the risk of preterm birth among Black women

Leslie Dubbin, PhD, MPH, RN | Social & Behavioral Sciences | UCSF School of Nursing
Monica McLemore, PhD, MPH, RN | Family Health Care Nursing | UCSF School of Nursing

The purpose of this study is to qualitatively explore the intersections of socioeconomic status, social circumstances and experiences that may be potential mediators or protectors for the risk of preterm birth across a socioeconomically diverse sample of pregnant Black women in Oakland. Our aim is to better understand the chronic stressors and protective resources that may affect the instances of preterm birth and the health outcomes of pregnant Black women.

"Preconception" Intervention Projects

Prenatal Intervention Projects

Postnatal Intervention Projects


California Preterm Birth Initiative Funded Research Projects

The UCSF California Preterm Birth Initiative is a unique research platform which conducts and funds research across the reproductive lifecourse. The following is a list of research projects supported by the Initiative. 

Prenatal Intervention Projects 

  • Disrupting Current Models of Prenatal Care: GLOW! (Fresno, CA)

Postnatal Intervention Projects

  • Evaluating the effect of San Francisco’s Paid Parental Leave Ordinance on preterm birth and associated maternal and newborn outcomes
  • Improving Preterm Infant Outcomes with mobile enhanced Family Integrated Care (mFICare)
  • Clinical accuracy of a new method to wirelessly monitor skin temperature in preterm neonates using adhesive-embedded sensors
  • We3Health: A mobile health app for parents of NICU parents and clinicians

Discovery Projects

  • Explore the molecular and place-based underpinnings of preterm birth and outcomes of prematurity using statewide and place-based data and banked biospecimens
  • Exploring physiological changes throughout pregnancy that may underpin parturition using samples from participants in the Smart Diaphragm Stud
  • Adaptation of an existing data integration/visualization platform for the purpose of visualizing and performing exploratory analysis of a multivariate dataset of risk factors of preterm birth in Fresno County, and validation of its usability with diverse and cross-sector PTBi stakeholder
  • Genetic associations with preterm birth
  • Comparison of risk and resiliency factors for preterm birth in rural, suburban and urban areas of Fresno County, California
  • Region-specific comparison of socioeconomic and environmental contributors to preterm birth
  • Outcomes of prematurity in rural, suburban and urban areas of Fresno County, California by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status
  • Maternal hyperlipidemia and risk for preterm birth
  • Metabolic and inflammatory pathways of preeclampsia
  • Maternal serum cortisol, CRH and the risk of preterm birth
  • Metabolic underpinnings of preterm birth by timing and subtype
  • Genetic risk score for lipid levels and preterm birth
  • The relationship between tumor necrosis factor, genetic predisposition for dyslipidemia and preterm birth
  • Metabolic profiles in infants with PPHN
  • Experiences of racial discrimination among pregnant Black women during pregnancy
  • The impact of autoimmune rheumatic diseases on birth outcomes
  • The effect of fetal growth on mortality in preterm and term infants with critical congenital heart disease
  • The impact of multiple sclerosis on birth outcomes
  • Metabolic consequences of resuscitation
  • Assessing the utility of a pregnancy-adapted atherosclerotic cardiovascular risk score for the prediction of preterm birth and near-term cardiovascular diseases
  • Assessing the interaction between depression and select autoimmune conditions on birth outcomes
  • Risk of postpartum depression among mothers of preterm infants
  • Associations between mid-pregnancy telomere length and pregnancy outcomes
  • Do ICD-9 social codes predict preterm birth outcomes?
  • Assessing the effect of ambient air pollution on premature rupture of membranes
  • Race/ethnicity, census-level socioeconomic status and pregnancy cardio-metabolic disease
  • Sleep disorders during pregnancy and complications following preterm birth
  • Sleep disorders during pregnancy and preterm birth: identifying pathways using ICD-9 codes
  • Homelessness or unstable housing and adverse birth outcomes
  • Post-discharge mortality and rehospitalizations in late preterm and term infants with a diagnosis of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn
  • The role of air pollution indicators in the association between race/ethnicity and rehospitalization rates for respiratory causes in preterm infants in California
  • Endometriosis and risk of preterm birth
  • Metabolic Vulnerability and Complications of Prematurity
  • Risk of preterm birth among women with an emergency department visit or hospitalization for a urinary tract infection by trimester of pregnancy
  • Metabolic vulnerability of newborns born to cancer survivors
  • Pregnancy outcomes among cancer survivors
  • Racial Disparities in Outcomes among Infants with Congenital Morbidities at 1 year: A Population-Based Study in California

Completed Discovery Projects