Brian W. Whitcomb

Brian Whitcomb
433 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.

Publication List: 

PubMed Search Link

Key Publications: 

Whitcomb BW, McArdle PF. Collider-stratification bias due to censoring in prospective cohort studies. Epidemiology 2016 Mar;27(2):e4-5. PMID: 26628423

Roberts SC, Seav SM, McDade TW, Dominick SA, Gorman JR, Whitcomb BW, Su HI. Self-collected dried blood spots as a tool for measuring ovarian reserve in young female cancer survivors. Hum Reprod. 2016;31(7):1570-8. PMID: 27170433.

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 PMID: 25721914

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. PMID: 24581581

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. PMID: 22647450