Brian W. Whitcomb
Professor of Epidemiology
Reproductive/perinatal epidemiology, epidemiologic methods
715 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003
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 preconception, 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.