Department of Immunology

February 19, 2020

Women and Girls in STEM – CIIID Collaborations Aim to Shatter Glass Celings

Dr. Adams Waldorf with Girl Scout Troop at WISH

Image Credit: Annie Kuo

Originally published in the Huddle – UW Medicine. Kristina Adams Waldorf, MD, an obstetrician and gynecologist (OB-GYN), sees about 25 patients a day.

Most of her patients don’t know anything about her research life, even though she is an internationally recognized expert in pregnancy infections and spends about 75% of her work time in the lab. And she is OK with that; she wants to focus on being their doctor and helping them with a wide range of problems in women’s health.

Improving maternal-fetal health
But Adams Waldorf is a research rock star. With her colleague Michael Gale Jr., PhD, [Professor, Department of Immunology and] Director of the Center for Innate Immunity and Disease, she has received $19 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health in 2019 and spurred a new research program on maternal-fetal health. This funding was also obtained with Lakshmi Rajagopal, a professor of pediatrics at UW School of Medicine and a scientist at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Their research focuses on how viruses and bacteria attack the fetus and how this affects maternal health. Specifically, how viruses like Zika are recognized by the immune response in pregnancy and how this response to disease can sometimes cause pregnancy complications. Read more…