The California Preterm Birth Initiative Funds Innovative Research Projects

The California Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi-CA) is committed to engaging investigators across a variety of disciplines and in partnership with communities to tackle the complex problem of preterm birth. In January 2016, we issued a call for proposals through the UCSF Resource Allocation Program (RAP) for innovative research from UCSF researchers and community-based collaborators. We received 25 proposals for 1-year pilot projects or 2-year studies. The proposals received scientific peer review through RAP as well as community review from local women at risk for preterm birth.

We are pleased to announce that PTBi-CA awarded a total of $1,833,733 to 19 new studies beginning July 2016. This research reflects the breadth of our aims and scope. The newly funded projects include basic science studies designed to better understand the role of infection in preterm delivery; human studies to identify risks and protective factors for poor birth outcomes; new technologies to improve care for vulnerable preterm infants; and interventions to enhance the skills of prenatal care providers and community health workers who serve women at risk for preterm birth.

PTBi-CA will convene a fall gathering of the funded investigators, providing an opportunity for them to connect and learn about one another’s work. Additionally, a research symposium is planned for November 2017 for all PTBi-CA investigators to share their results or works in progress.

We expect to issue a more targeted call for proposals with the Fall RAP cycle, scheduled to open for applications on August 22, 2016.

PTBi-CA will fund the following research projects beginning July 2016:

Discovery Research
Principal Investigator, UCSF Department or Other Affiliation
OMX, a novel oxygen carrying protein, for resuscitation in preterm delivery secondary to placental under-perfusion states
Jeffrey Fineman, MD
Emin Maltepe, MD, PhD
Is preterm birth associated with air pollution from oil and gas power plants in California? A natural experiment
Joan Casey, PhD, MA
Testing exposure to local immigration enforcement as a structural determinant of preterm birth disparities in California counties
Jaqueline Torres, PhD
School of Medicine
Exploring the dual burden of severe maternal morbidity and preterm birth in California
Audrey Lyndon, PhD, RN
Family Health Care Nursing
San Francisco Preterm Fetal Infant Mortality Review (SF PFIMR)
Rebecca Jackson, MD
Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences
Stress, resilience and coping in Hispanic women in Fresno: The SOLARS study expansion
Monica McLemore, PhD, MPH, RN
Family Health Care Nursing
Anu Manchikanti Gomez, PhD, MSc
School of Social Welfare, UC Berkeley
Persistent human cytomegalovirus infection of the amnion in preterm birth and intrauterine growth restriction
Takako Tabata, PhD
Cell & Tissue Biology
Visualization of individual and environmental risks and protectors for preterm birth in Fresno county
Marta Jankowska, PhD
Family Medicine and Public Health, UC San Diego
Christina Chambers, PhD
Pediatrics, UC San Diego
Cumulative risk for preterm birth by characteristics and biomarkers across pregnancies in African-American women
Laura Jelliffe-Pawlowski, PhD
Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Kelli Ryckman, PhD
Epidemiology, University of Iowa
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
Monica McLemore, PhD, MPH, RN
Family Health Care Nursing
Race/ethnicity and sociodemographic variation in resuscitation and outcomes of extreme prematurity in a population-based cohort in California
Elizabeth Rogers, MD
James Anderson, MD
Clinical and metabolomic characteristics of pulmonary hypertension and respiratory distress syndrome in infants < 34 weeks of gestation and their predictive effect on chronic lung disease
Martina Steurer Miller, MD


Intervention Research
Principal Investigator, UCSF Department or Other Affiliation
Postpartum contraceptive decision support tool
Christine Dehlendorf, MD, MAS
Family and Community Medicine
Using community health workers for preterm birth prevention
Melanie Thomas, MD, MS
Laura Gottlieb, MD, MPH
Family and Community Medicine
Periviable GOALS: Formative research to create a decision support tool for periviable decision-making
Miriam Kuppermann, PhD, MPH
Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences
Informing model articulation by eliciting the family experience: A pilot study of the Special Start neonatal follow up program
Laura Frame, PhD, LCSW
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland
Perceptions and availability of postpartum contraception among women and health care providers following preterm birth
Heike Thiel de Bocanegra, PhD
Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences
Social Determinants of Health, Adversity and Resilience (SOAR) Factors
Danielle Hessler, PhD
Family and Community Medicine
Dayna Long, MD
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland
Clinical accuracy of a new method to wirelessly monitor skin temperature in preterm neonates using adhesive-imbedded sensors
Linda Franck, PhD, RN
Department of Family Health Care Nursing
Todd Coleman, PhD
Institute of Engineering and Medicine, UC San Diego