Brian W. Whitcomb

Brian Whitcomb
Professional Title: 
Associate Professor and Program Head, Epidemiology
Campus Address: 
408 Arnold House

B.A., University of California Berkeley, 1994; Ph.D., University of Maryland Baltimore, 2006; Postdoctoral, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Area(s) of Specialization: 

Reproductive/perinatal epidemiology, epidemiologic methods

Research Description: 

Regulation of inflammation is critical in human reproduction. Despite advances in reproductive immunology, it remains unclear how the maternal immune system tolerates the genetically dissimilar fetus in pregnancy, and how inflammatory proteins like cytokines may be involved in failures of human reproduction beginning pre-conception, through gestation and into neonatal development. The question of how the immune system and inflammatory factors may be involved in menstrual cycle irregularities, fertility/infertility and adverse pregnancy outcomes is an important one. Research that improves our understanding of inflammatory factors and related biomarkers in failures of human reproduction may help to identify modifiable risk factors and potential targets for development of molecular treatments, and thereby and improve the public health. My research toward this end includes work evaluating risk factors for miscarriage and preterm birth, epidemiology of menstrual cycle function, determinants of outcomes in in vitro fertilization, and novel epidemiologic methods. As an epidemiologist with expertise in molecular biology and inflammation as well as epidemiologic methods, I also serve as a collaborator on a number of research studies.

Key Publications: 

Whitcomb BW, Levens ED, Turzanski-Fortner R, Richter KR, Kipersztok S, Stillman RJ, Levy MJ. Contribution of male age to outcomes in assisted reproductive technologies. Fertility and Sterility 2011;95:147-51.

Whitcomb BW, Schisterman EF, Perkins NJ, Albert P. Treatment of Batch in the Detection, Calibration, and Quantification of Immunoassays in Large-scale Epidemiologic Studies. Epidemiology 2010 Jul;21 Suppl 4:S44-50.

Whitcomb BW, Schisterman EF, Perkins NJ, Platt RW. Quantification of collider-stratification bias in the birth weight paradox. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 2009 Sep;23(5):394-402.

Whitcomb BW, Schisterman EF, Luo X, Chegini N. Maternal serum concentration of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor and preterm birth. Journal of Women’s Health 2009 Jan-Feb;18(1):73-8.

Whitcomb BW, Schisterman EF, Klebanoff MA, Baumgarten M, Luo X, Chegini N. Circulating levels of cytokines during pregnancy; thrombopoietin is elevated in miscarriage. Fertility and Sterility 2008;89(6):1795-802.