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Brian W. Whitcomb

Associate Professor

I work in the areas of reproductive/perinatal epidemiology and epidemiologic methods development. My research focuses on assessment of biomarkers in reproductive health, encompassing of fertility and throughout pregnancy as related to adverse pregnancy outcomes. My methodologic research addresses issues in causal inference and modeling as well as statistical issues that arise from use of laboratory measures epidemiologic studies.

One line of my current research is aimed at clarifying the role of inflammation during pregnancy and risk of preterm birth and in reproductive health prior to conception. Results of this research suggest a complex role of the immune system in pregnancy with dynamic changes in inflammation during the course of normal gestation. Other current research addresses determinants of fertility from a range of perspectives, including: evaluation of biomarkers including hormone levels and genetic factors among women with clinical infertility; determination of the period of fertility among female cancer survivors; and biochemical predictors of early menopause.

Learn more at www.umass.edu/sphhs/person/faculty/brian-w-whitcomb

Academic Background

  • BA Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California Berkeley, 1994
  • PhD Epidemiology, University of Maryland Baltimore, 2006
  • Postdoctoral fellowship in Reproductive Epidemiology and Epidemiologic Methods, NICHD, 2008
Wu H, Whitcomb BW, Huffman A, Brandon N, Labrie S, Tougias E, Lynch K, Rahil T, Sites CK, Pilsner JR. Associations of Sperm Mitochondrial Copy Number and Deletion Rate with Fertilization and Embryo Development in a Clinical Setting. Human Reproduction 2019; 34: 163-170.
Bertone-Johnson ER, Manson JE, Purdue-Smithe AC, Hankinson SE, Rosner BA, Whitcomb BW. A prospective study of inflammatory biomarker levels and risk of early menopause. Menopause 2019;26:32-38.
Whitcomb BW, Purdue-Smithe AC, Hankinson SE, Manson JE, Rosner BA, Bertone-Johnson ER. Menstrual cycle characteristics in youth and adolescence and risk of early natural menopause. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2018;103:3909-3918.
Freeman JR, Whitcomb BW, Roy A, Bertone-Johnson ER, Reich NG, Healy AJ. A pilot longitudinal study of anti-Müllerian hormone levels throughout gestation in low risk pregnancy. Health Science Reports 2018;1:e53.
Russo LM, Whitcomb BW, Mumford SL, Hawkins M, Radin RG, Schliep KC, Silver RM, Perkins NJ, Kim K, Omosigho UR, Kuhr DL, Holland TL, Sjaarda LA, Schisterman EF. A prospective study of physical activity and fecundability in women with a history of pregnancy loss. Human Reproduction 2018 Jul 1;33(7):1291-1298.
Nobles C*, Bertone-Johnson ER, Ronnenberg A, Faraj J, Zagarins S, Takashima-Uebelhoer, Whitcomb BW. Correlation of urine and plasma cytokine levels among reproductive aged women. European Journal of Clinical Investigations 2015 May;45(5):460-5
Bertone-Johnson ER, Ronnenberg AG, Houghton SC, Nobles C, Zagarins S, Takashima-Uebelhoer BB, Faraj F, Whitcomb BW. Association of inflammatory markers with menstrual symptoms and premenstrual syndrome in young women. Human Reproduction 2014 Aug;29(9):1987-94.
Dominick SA, Mersereau JE, Chung K, Gorman JR, Whitcomb BW, Su HI. Factors Associated with Pregnancy Attempts among Female Young Adult Cancer Survivors. Journal of Cancer Survivorship: Research and Practice 2014 Dec;8(4):571-9.
Whitcomb BW, Mumford SL, Perkins NJ, Wactawski-Wende J, Lynch KL, Bertone-Johnson ER, Schisterman EF. Cytokine and chemokine profiles across the menstrual cycle in healthy reproductive age women. Fertility and Sterility 2014 May;101(5):1383-1391.e2.
Levy G, Hill MJ, Ramirez CI, Correa L, Ryan ME, DeCherney AH, Levens ED, Whitcomb BW. The use of follicle flushing during oocyte retrieval in assisted reproductive technologies: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Human Reproduction 2012;27(8):2373-9.
Contact Info

Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology
408 Arnold House
715 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003-9304

(413) 577-7440