SMFM Scholarship Award Funds Three Years of Research


Dr. Joy Vink, was named the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine (SMFM)/American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Foundation’s (AAOGF) Scholarship Award 2012-2015 Recipient at SMFM’s annual meeting in 2012. The scholarship is awarded to future academic physician leaders in OB/GYN to advance their scientific training and development. Scholars receive annual funding of $100,000 for three consecutive years of research.

This award will support Dr. Joy Vink’s translational research focusing on the biochemical and biomechanical causes of cervical insufficiency/preterm cervical shortening and preterm birth. Regardless of the trigger, all cases of preterm birth begin with cervical remodeling followed by dilation and delivery of the fetus. Dr. Vink’s interest in understanding how changes in the cervix relate to preterm birth results from the fact that approximately 1 in 8 deliveries are preterm, yet the causes remain largely unknown. Once established, this knowledge can be translated to rational, noninvasive and easily adaptable approaches to measure cervical remodeling biomarkers, which will help identify pregnancies at risk for premature cervical remodeling earlier. Earlier identification of women at high risk for preterm birth may allow earlier interventions to help manage preterm deliveries and improve outcomes for babies.