Branch Chief – Roberto Romero, M.D., D.Med.Sci.

  • Chief, Perinatology Research Branch; Director, Division of Obstetrics and Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Division of Intramural Research, NICHD, NIH, DHHS
  • Professor of Molecular Obstetrics and Genetics, Wayne State University - Full time status
  • Professor Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan
  • Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Michigan State University
  • Editor-in-Chief for Obstetrics, American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Training and Background
  • Bachelor of Science, Physician and Surgeon degree
    Doctor of Medical Sciences
  • Residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology – Yale University
  • Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellowship – Yale University
  • Former Director of Perinatal Research – Yale University
  • Professor and Vice-Chairman, Wayne State University
  • Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan
  • Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Michigan State University
  • Co-author of over 1,000 peer-reviewed publications
  • Author of books: “Obstetrical Ultrasound” and “Perinatal Diagnosis of Congenital Anomalies”
  • Editor of books: “The Principles and Practice of Ultrasonography in Obstetrics and Gynecology” and “Preterm Labor”
  • Editor-in-Chief for Obstetrics of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Associate Editor of The Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
  • Associate Editor of The Journal of Perinatal Medicine
  • Former Editor of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Recipient of numerous awards including:
    • Ian Donald Gold Medal (ISUOG); Stockholm, Sweden
    • Erich Saling Award (World Association of Perinatal Medicine); Osaka, Japan
    • Maternite Award in Paris
    • Presidential Achievement Award (SGI)
    • 9th Asan Award in Medicine. Asan Foundation. Seoul, South Korea (March 2016)
    • Research Excellence Awards (SMFM, ACOG, CAOG, ISUOG)
  • Elected Member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine)
  • Recipient of 13 Doctorate Honoris Causa degrees from universities worldwide
  • Elected Member of the Academy of Scholars, Wayne State University
Honorary Degrees / Awards
  • 2004 Doctorate Honoris Causa, Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • 2004 Doctorate Honoris Causa, National University of San Marcos, Lima, Peru
  • 2004 Doctorate Honoris Causa, Universidad Nacional de San Antonio Abad del Cusco, Cusco, Peru
  • 2007 Doctorate Honoris Causa, Universidad del Zulia, Maracaibo, Venezuela
  • 2007 Doctorate Honoris Causa, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
  • 2009 Doctorate Honoris Causa, University of Athens, Greece
  • 2011 Honorary Professor, Russia State Medical University, Moscow, Russia
  • 2011 Honorary Professor, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 2012 Doctorate Honoris Causa, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • 2013 Doctorate Honoris Causa, Ott Scientific Research University of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Saint Petersburg, Russia
  • 2013 Doctorate Honoris Causa, Sanitas University, Bogota, Colombia
  • 2013 Doctorate Honoris Causa, Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • 2016 Doctorate Honoris Causa, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 2017 Honorary Professor, Universidad Espiritu Santo, Guayaquil, Ecuador
  • 2019 Doctorate Honoris Causa, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
  • 2019 Doctorate Honoris Causa, Universidada Simón Bolívar, Barranquilla, Colombia
Contributions and Areas of Interest
  • Early diagnosis and treatment of ectopic pregnancy:
    • The discriminatory hCG zone
    • Serial hCG determinations
    • Ultrasound assessment of the pelvis
    • Laparoscopic treatment of ectopic pregnancy
  • Prenatal diagnosis of congenital anomalies with ultrasound
    • STIC for the diagnosis of congenital heart disease
    • Functional evaluation of the fetal heart
  • Longitudinal studies of fetal growth
  • Three-dimensional and four-dimensional ultrasound
  • Invasive procedures for prenatal diagnosis (amniocentesis, cordocentesis, endoscopy and fetal endoscopic surgery)
  • Subclinical intrauterine infection in preterm labor and preterm PROM
  • Role of cytokines and chemokines in spontaneous labor at term and infection-induced preterm labor
  • The fetal inflammatory response syndrome (FIRS)
  • The role of the human fetus in the onset of preterm labor
  • Fetal systemic inflammation as a cause of cerebral palsy and chronic lung disease
  • Development of novel methods for the rapid diagnosis of intrauterine infection/inflammation
  • Treatment of intrauterine infection and intrauterine inflammation
  • High-dimensional biology (genomics, proteomics, metabolomics) to understand perinatal disease
  • The role of progesterone in the prevention of preterm birth
    Select Publications

    December 2019

    • Gomez-Lopez N, Motomura K, Miller D, Garcia-Flores V, Galaz J, Romero R. Inflammasomes: their role in normal and complicated pregnancies. J Immunol. 2019 Dec 1; 203:2757-2769. Review.
      PMID: 31740550
    • Pique-Regi R, Romero R, Tarca AL, Sendler ED, Xu Y, Garcia-Flores V, Leng Y, Luca F, Hassan SS, Gomez-Lopez N. Single cell transcriptional signatures of the human placenta in term and preterm parturition. eLIFE. [Epub 2019 Dec 12;8]
      PMID: 31829938
    • Peiris HN, Romero R, Vaswani K, Reed S, Gomez-Lopez N, Tarca AL, Gudicha DW, Erez O, Maymon E, Mitchell MD. Preterm labor is characterized by a high abundance of amniotic fluid prostaglandins in patients with intra-amniotic infection or sterile intra-amniotic inflammation. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. [Epub 2019 Dec 29:1-16]
      PMID: 31885290

    November 2019

    • Turk E, van den Heuvel MI, Benders MJ, de Heus R, Franx A, Manning JH, Hect JL, Hernandez-Andrade E, Hassan SS, Romero R, Kahn RS, Thomason ME, van den Heuvel MP. Functional connectome of the fetal brain. J Neuroscience. [Epub 2019 Nov 4]
      PMID: 31685648
    • Handelman SK, Romero R, Tarca AL, Pacora P, Ingram B, Maymon E, Chaiworapongsa T, Hassan SS, Erez O. The plasma metabolome of women in early pregnancy differs from that of non-pregnant women. PLoS One. 2019 Nov 14; 14:e0224682.
      PMID: 31726468;
      PMCID: PMC6855901
    • Romero R, Gomez-Lopez N, Winters AD, Jung E, Shaman M, Bieda J, Panaitescu B, Pacora P, Erez O, Greenberg JM, Ahmad MM, Hsu CD, Theis KR. Evidence that intra-amniotic infections are often the result of an ascending invasion - a molecular microbiological study. J Perinat Med. 47:915-931,2019 Nov 26.
      PMID: 31693497

    October 2019

    • Rattila S, Dunk CE, Im M, Grichenko O, Zhou Y, Yanez-Mo M, Blois SM, Yamada KM, Erez O, Gomez-Lopez N, Lye SJ, Hinz B, Romero R, Cohen M, Dveksler G. Interaction of pregnancy-specific glycoprotein 1 with integrin Α5β1 is a modulator of extravillous trophoblast functions. Cells. 8:1369, 2019 Nov. [Epub 31 Oct 2019]
      PMID: 31683744

    September 2019

    • Gomez-Lopez N, Romero R, Leng Y, Xu Y, Slutsky R, Levenson D, Pacora P, Jung E, Panaitescu B, Hsu CD. The origin of amniotic fluid monocytes/macrophages in women with intra-amniotic inflammation or infection. J Perinat Med. 47(8):822-840, 2019 Oct 25. [Epub 2019 Sep 7]
      PMID: 31494640;
      NIHMS 1049923
    • Gomez-Lopez N, Romero R, Xu Y, Miller D, Arenas-Hernandez M, Garcia-Flores V, Panaitescu B, Galaz J, Hsu CD, Para R, Berry SM. Fetal T cell activation in the amniotic cavity during preterm labor: a potential mechanism for a subset of idiopathic preterm birth. J Immunol. 203:1793-1807, 2019 Oct. [Epub 2019 Sep 6]
      PMID: 31492740.

    August 2019

    • Gomez-Lopez N, Romero R, Tarca AL, Miller D, Panaitescu B, Schwenkel G, Gudicha DW, Hassan SS, Pacora P, Jung E, Hsu CD. Gasdermin D: evidence of pyroptosis in spontaneous preterm labor with sterile intra-amniotic inflammation or intra-amniotic infection. Am J Reprod Immunol. [Epub 2019 Aug 28] PMID: 31461796.

    • Yadav BK, Hernandez-Andrade E, Krishnamurthy U, Buch S, Jella P, Trifan A, Yeo L, Hassan SS, Haacke EM, Romero R, Neelavalli J. Dual-imaging modality approach to evaluate cerebral hemodynamics in growth-restricted fetuses: oxygenation and perfusion. Fetal Diagn Ther. [Epub 2019 Aug 21:1-11] PMID: 31434069.

    • Yan Y, Gomez-Lopez N, Basij M, Shahvari AV, Vadillo-Ortega F, Hernandez-Andrade E, Hassan SS, Romero R, MehrMohammadi M. Photoacoustic imaging of the uterine cervix to assess collagen and water content changes in murine pregnancy. Biomed Opt Express. 2019 Aug 19; 10:4643-4655.
      PMID: 31565515;
      PMCID: PMC6757472

    July 2019

    • Gomez-Lopez N, Roberto R, Galaz J, Xu Y, Panaitescu B, Slutsky R, Motomura K, Gill N, Para R, Pacora P, Jung E, Hsu CD. Cellular immune responses in amniotic fluid of women with preterm labor and intra-amniotic infection or intra-amniotic inflammation. Am J Reprod Immunol. [Epub 2019 Jul 19:e13171] PMID: 31323170.

    • Winters AD, Romero R, Gervasi MT, Gomez-Lopez N, Tran MR, Garcia-Flores V, Pacora P, Jung E, Hassan SS, Hsu CD, Theis KR. Does the endometrial cavity have a molecular microbial signature?
      Sci Rep. 2019 Jul 9; 9:9905.
      PMID: 31289304;
      PMCID: PMC6616349

    • Kacerovsky M, Romero R, Pliskova L, Bolehovska R, Hornychova H, Matejkova A, Vosmikova H, Andrys C, Kolackova M, Laudański P, Pelantova V, Jacobsson B, Musilova I. Presence of Chlamydia trachomatis DNA in the amniotic fluid in women with preterm prelabor rupture of membranes.
      J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. [Epub 2019 Jul 4] PMID: 31272257;
      NIHMS 1046267

    June 2019

    • Monteiro LJ, Varas-Godoy M, Monckeberg M, Realini O, Hernández M, Rice G, Romero R, Saavedra JF, Illanes SE, Chaparro A. Oral extracellular vesicles in early pregnancy can identify patients at risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus. PLoS One. 2019 Jun 26; 14:e0218616
      PMID: 31242249;
      PMCID: PMC6594608

    • Balogh A, Toth E, Romero R, Parej K, Csala D, Szenasi NL, Hajdu I, Juhasz K, Kovacs AF, Meiri H, Hupuczi P, Tarca AL, Hassan SS, Erez O, Zavodszky P, Matko J, Papp Z, Rossi SW, Hahn S, Pallinger E, Than NG. Placental galectins are key players in regulating the maternal adaptive immune response.
      Front Immunol. 2019 Jun 19; 10:1240.
      PMID: 31275299;
      PMCID: PMC6593412

    • Tarca AL, Romero R, Benshalom-Tirosh N, Than NG, Gudicha DW, Done B, Pacora P, Chaiworapongsa T, Panaitescu B, Tirosh D, Gomez-Lopez N, Draghici S, Hassan SS, Erez O. The prediction of early preeclampsia: Results from a longitudinal proteomics study. PLoS One. 2019 Jun 4; 14:e0217273.
      PMID: 31163045;
      PMCID: PMC6548389

    May 2019

    • Berkowitz BA, Romero R, Podolsky RH, Lins-Childers KM, Shen Y, Rosales T, Wadghiri YZ, Hoang DM, Arenas-Hernandez M, Garcia-Flores V, Schwenkel G, Panaitescu B, Gomez-Lopez N. QUEST MRI assessment of fetal brain oxidative stress in utero. Neuroimage. 200:601-606, 2019 Oct 15. [Epub 2019 May 31] PMID: 31158477;
      PMCID: PMC6703912

    • Oh KJ, Romero R, Park JY, Hong JS, Yoon BH. The earlier the gestational age, the greater the intensity of the intra-amniotic inflammatory response in women with preterm premature rupture of membranes and amniotic fluid infection by Ureaplasma species. J Perinat Med. 47:516-527, July 26, 2019 [Epub 2019 May 29] PMID: 31141489;
      PMCID: PMC6656366

    • Slutsky R, Romero R, Xu Y, Galaz J, Miller D, Done B, Tarca AL, Gregor S, Hassan SS, Leng Y, Gomez-Lopez N. Exhausted and senescent T cells at the maternal-fetal interface in preterm and term labor. J Immunol Res. 2019 May 23; 2019:3128010.
      PMID: 31263712;
      PMCID: PMC6556261

    • Poon LC, Shennan A, Hyett JA, Kapur A, Hadar E, Divakar H, McAuliffe F, da Silva Costa F, von Dadelszen P, McIntyre HD, Kihara AB, Di Renzo GC, Romero R, D'Alton M, Berghella V, Nicolaides KH, Hod M. The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) initiative on pre-eclampsia: A pragmatic guide for first-trimester screening and prevention. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 145 Suppl 1:1-33, May 2019. [Epub 2019 May 20] PMID: 31111484;
      NIHMS 1032727

    • Gomez-Lopez N, Romero R, Panaitescu B, Miller D, Zhou C, Gudicha DW, Tarca AL, Para R, Pacora P, Hassan SS, Hsu CD. Gasdermin D: in vivo evidence of pyroptosis in spontaneous labor at term.
      J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med [Epub 2019 May 6] PMID: 31006293;
      NIHMS 1034853

    April 2019

    • Kabiri D, Romero R, Gudicha DW, Hernandez-Andrade E, Pacora P, Benshalom-Tirosh N, Tirosh D, Yeo L, Erez O, Hassan SS, Tarca AL. Prediction of adverse perinatal outcomes by fetal biometry: a comparison of customized and population-based standards. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol [Epub 2019 Apr 22] PMID: 31006913;
      NIHMSID: 1027982

    • Para R, Romero R, Miller D, Panaitescu B, Varrey A, Chaiworapongsa T, Hassan SS, Hsu CD, Gomez-Lopez N. Human β-defensin-3 participates in intra-amniotic host defense in women with labor at term, spontaneous preterm labor and intact membranes, and preterm prelabor rupture of membranes.
      J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med [Epub 2019 Apr 18] PMID: 30999788; NIHMS1034828

    • Stanfield Z, Lai PF, Lei K, Johnson MR, Blanks AM, Romero R, Chance MR, Mesiano S, Koyutürk M. Myometrial transcriptional signatures of human parturition. Front Genet. 2019 Apr 1;10:185.
      PMID: 30988671;
      PMCID: PMC6452569

    March 2019

    • Oh KJ, Romero R, Park JY, Lee J, Conde-Agudelo A, Hong JS, Yoon BH. Evidence that antibiotic administration is effective in the treatment of a subset of patients with intra-amniotic infection/inflammation presenting with cervical insufficiency. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 221:140.e1-140.e18, August 2019. [Epub 2019 Mar 28] PMID: 30928565;
      NIHMS 1525595

    • Yoon BH, Romero R, Park JY, Oh KJ, Lee J, Conde-Agudelo A, Hong JS. Antibiotic administration can eradicate intra-amniotic infection or inflammation in a subset of patients with preterm labor and intact membranes. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 221:142.e1-142.e22, August 2019. [Epub 2019 Mar 27] PMID: 30928566;
      NIHMS 1525553

    • Arenas-Hernandez M, Romero R, Xu Y, Panaitescu B, Garcia-Flores V, Miller D, Ahn H, Done B, Hassan SS, Hsu CD, Tarca AL, Sanchez-Torres C, Gomez-Lopez N. Effector and activated T cells induce preterm labor and birth that is prevented by treatment with progesterone. J Immunol. 202:2585-2608, May 1 2019. [Epub 2019 Mar 27] PMID: 30918041;
      PMCID: PMC6570421

    • Mönckeberg M, Valdés R, Kusanovic JP, Schepeler M, Nien JK, Pertossi E, Silva P, Silva K, Venegas P, Guajardo U, Romero R, Illanes SE. Patients with acute cervical insufficiency without intra-amniotic infection/inflammation treated with cerclage have a good prognosis. J Perinat Med. 47:500-509, July 26 2019. [Epub 2019 Mar 8] PMID: 30849048;
      PMCID: PMC6606339

    • Wheelock MD, Hect JL, Hernandez-Andrade E, Hassan SS, Romero R, Eggebrecht AT, Thomason ME. Sex differences in functional connectivity during fetal brain development. Dev Cogn Neurosci 36:100632, 2019 Apr. [Epub 2019 Mar 5] PMID: 30901622;
      NIHMS 1038431

    • Theis KR, Romero R, Winters AD, Greenberg JM, Gomez-Lopez N, Alhousseini A, Bieda J, Maymon E, Pacora P, Fettweis JM, Buck GA, Jefferson KK, Strauss JF 3rd, Erez O, Hassan SS. Does the human placenta delivered at term have a microbiota? Results of cultivation, quantitative real-time PCR, 16S rRNA gene sequencing, and metagenomics. Am J Obstet Gynecol 220:267.e1-267.e39, 2019 Mar. [Epub 2019 Mar 2] PMID: 30832984;
      PMCID: PMC6733039

    February 2019

    • Oh KJ, Romero R, Park JY, Kang J, Hong JS, Yoon BH. A high concentration of fetal fibronectin in cervical secretions increases the risk of intra-amniotic infection and inflammation in patients with preterm labor and intact membranes. J Perinat Med 47:288-303, 2019 Apr. [Epub 2019 Feb 15] PMID: 30763270;
      PMCID: PMC6497400

    • Leng Y, Romero R, Xu Y, Galaz J, Slutsky R, Arenas-Hernandez M, Garcia-Flores V, Motomura K, Hassan SS, Reboldi A, Gomez-Lopez N. Are B cells altered in the decidua of women with preterm or term labor? Am J Reprod Immunol 81:e13102, 2019 May. [Epub 2019 Feb 15] PMID: 30768818;
      PMCID: PMC6556388

    • Kadar N, Romero R, Papp Z. Bicentennial of Semmelweis's birth. Reply to McFarlane commentary. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 220:605, June 2019. [Epub 2019 Feb 13] PMID: 30771345;
      PMCID: PMC6690371

    • Gill N, Leng Y, Romero R, Xu Y, Panaitescu B, Miller D, Arif A, Mumuni S, Qureshi F, Hsu CD, Hassan SS, Staff AC, Gomez-Lopez N. The immunophenotype of decidual macrophages in acute atherosis. Am J Reprod Immunol 81:e13098, 2019 Apr. [Epub 2019 Feb 8] PMID: 30734977;
      PMCID: PMC6556389

    January 2019

    • Tarca AL, Romero R, Xu Z, Gomez-Lopez N, Erez O, Hsu CD, Hassan SS, Carey VJ. Targeted expression profiling by RNA-Seq improves detection of cellular dynamics during pregnancy and identifies a role for T cells in term parturition. Sci Rpts 9:848, 2019 Jan 29.
      PMID: 30696862;
      PMCID: PMC6351599

    • Varas-Godoy M, Acuña-Gallardo S, Venegas-Duarte S, Hill C, Caceres-Verschae A, Realini O, Monteiro LJ, Zavala G, Khoury M, Romero R, Rice G, Illanes SE. Angiogenic properties of menstrual stem cells are impaired in women with a history of preeclampsia. Stem Cells Int 2019:1916542, 2019 Jan 27.
      PMID: 30809262;
      PMCID: PMC6369467