Obstetrics & Gynecology Behavioral & Population Health Research | NYU Langone Health

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Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology Research Obstetrics & Gynecology Behavioral & Population Health Research

Obstetrics & Gynecology Behavioral & Population Health Research

Physician–scientists in NYU Langone’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology conduct behavioral research on sex- and gender-based violence, physician resilience and burnout, and challenges within medical education. Our population health research helps develop a more comprehensive understanding of gynecologic illnesses, their treatment and prevention, and treatment outcomes.

Obstetric and Gynecologic Behavioral Health Research

Our behavioral health research explores the psychological needs of patients and physicians.

Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Trauma

As part of her work in the Division of Global Women’s Health, Veronica Ades, MD, MPH, conducts research in the EMPOWER Lab to assess the psychological responses and medical needs of people who have been victims of intimate partner violence and sexual trauma. Projects include the Intimate Partner Violence Study and the Male Intimate Partner Violence Study.

Physician Resilience and Burnout

Abigail Ford Winkel, MD, MHPE, researches medical education with a focus on physician resilience. Areas of study include the use of narrative medicine to promote engagement and reduce burnout among obstetrics and gynecology residents, and the transition from medical school to residency.

Through her work leading the Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics joint task force on physician wellness, she has explored the impact of the educational environment on burnout and developed a national curriculum to promote wellness among obstetrics and gynecology residents.

Obstetric and Gynecologic Population Health Research

Alan A. Arslan, MD, is a lead investigator on several large population health research projects.

Women’s Health Study and Gynecologic Cancer Research

As a co-investigator in the NYU Women’s Health Study, Dr. Arslan has helped evaluate research topics such as inflammation in ovarian cancer, biomarkers of ovarian cancer risk, breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women, and the relation between reproductive factors and cancer risk.

Researchers regularly follow up with NYU Women’s Health Study subjects to determine what biomarkers might contribute to their cancer risk.

Ovarian Cancer Cohort Consortium Research

Dr. Arslan and his colleagues also conduct research with the Ovarian Cancer Cohort Consortium, pooling data from the NYU Women’s Health Study with those from 15 large prospective cohorts across the United States and in Europe, Asia, and Australia. Researchers hope that with more comprehensive data, they can better determine the underlying causes of ovarian cancer and create more effective prevention and treatment strategies.

Through the consortium, researchers have found that ovarian cancer is not a single disease and that different histological subtypes have differing risk factor profiles and treatment responses. Researchers hope that better categorization of these subtypes can help clinicians decide which treatments to offer.

Consortium researchers are trying to validate data from prior NYU Women’s Health Study research showing that women who took aspirin regularly experience a reduction in ovarian cancer risk later in life. The investigators are also evaluating various biomarkers that may allow for earlier diagnosis of ovarian and other gynecologic cancers.

World Trade Center Environmental Health Center Breast Cancer Research

In collaboration with Joan Reibman, MD, director of the World Trade Center (WTC) Environmental Health Center, and scientists at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, Dr. Arslan is conducting a study on the relationships between WTC dust cloud exposures and risk of various cancers among residents and local workers.

Investigators are searching for biomarkers related to the risk of breast cancer among persons exposed to the WTC dust cloud. Scientists hypothesize that exposure to carcinogens in the dust cloud may cause epigenetic changes. Specifically, changes in DNA methylation may affect the balance between the expression of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, contributing to an increased risk of breast and other cancers.

Communication Skills for Oncofertility Health Providers

Gwendolyn P. Quinn, PhD, directs a National Cancer Institute–funded, web-based training program, Enriching Communication Skills for Health Professionals in Oncofertility (ECHO), which is designed to improve the communication skills of allied health professionals who need to address reproductive health issues among adolescents and young adults with cancer. ECHO builds upon the Educating Nurses about Reproductive Issues in Cancer Healthcare (ENRICH) program. In a prior study, Dr. Quinn and her colleagues found that ENRICH is a successful intervention for oncology nurses caring for adolescent and young adults patients. The web-based program enhanced nurses’ communication skills and the frequency of discussion with patients about reproductive health.

Ethical Issues in Reproductive Health within the LGBTQIA+ Community

Dr. Quinn also studies reproductive health in the LGBTQIA+ community. Topics of interest include the long-term impact of puberty blocking in transgender children; LGBT cultural competency of oncologists; uterus transplantation in women who are genetically XY; and fertility counseling in transgender patients.