BWF Provides $3 Million to Support Preterm Birth Research

Creating interdisciplinary research teams

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2013 Preterm Birth Initiative.  This initiative is intended to shed light on preterm birth by creating interdisciplinary research teams focused on reproductive science.

“We believe that creating diverse research teams is one way to advance the study of preterm birth,” said BWF President John E. Burris, Ph.D.  “Preterm birth ahs serious social, economic, and medical implications.”

The Preterm Birth Initiative provides $600,000 over a four-year period.  Candidates are selected from a self-nominated pool.  Finalists are interviewed and selected by an independent advisory committee and approved by the BWF Board of Directors.  BWF received 47 eligible applications.

This year’s recipients, listed by principle investigator, include:

George Scott Worthen, M.D.
University of Pennsylvania
Genetics of preterm birth

Francesco J. DeMayo, Ph.D.
Baylor College of Medicine
Progesterone receptor regulation of gravid myometrium

Amanda L. Lewis, Ph.D.
Washington University
Mucus barrier degradation in bacterial vaginosis-associated preterm birth

Claire Chougnet, Ph.D.
University of Cincinnati
Host-microbe cross-talk and pregnancy outcomes

Katharina Ribbeck, D.Phil., Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Properties and functions of cervical mucus associated with preterm birth


The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is a private, independent foundation located in Research Triangle Park, NC.  BWF is dedicated to advancing the biomedical sciences by supporting research and other educational endeavors.

Media Contact:  Russ Campbell at 919/667-8866 or news [at]