knowledge at the tissue and whole-animal levels. She has a particular emphasis on environmentally persistent chemicals, such as polychlorinated biphenyls, lindane, and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT). Major projects involve the development of models for reproductive toxicity study, the mechanisms of disruption of uterine muscle gap junctions, toxicantinduced alteration of myometrial intracellular signaling (phosphorylation, calcium, phospholipids), and endocrine-mediated modulation of uterine contractions. She is a participating faculty member in the Environmental Toxicology, Reproductive Sciences, Pharmacological Sciences, and Cellular and Molecular Basis of Systems and Integrative Biology graduate and post-doctoral training programs.
Jennifer Culhane is an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Drexel University College of Medicine and of biostatistics and epidemiology at the Drexel University School of Public Health. Dr. Culhane’s work focuses on the social determinants of adverse reproductive outcomes and the contribution that these social exposures play in racial and ethnic differences in the rates of preterm birth and low birth weight. In addition, Dr. Culhane explores the physiological mechanisms that underpin these associations. Her current funded research explores the efficacy of interpregnancy interventions on the reduction of repeat preterm birth. Specifically, non-pregnant women with a recent history of early preterm birth are assessed for a wide range of risk factors, including urogenital tract and periodontal infections, depression, body mass index, housing instability, smoking, and low levels of literacy. After randomization, women in the intervention group are provided treatment for all identified risk factors. Both the timing of the intervention (prepregnancy) and the simultaneous treatment of numerous risk factors are novel aspects of this work. Other studies employ multilevel modeling techniques to examine the association between various socioenvironmental influences—including measures of area-level poverty, crime, homelessness, housing abandonment, and sexually transmitted diseases—on the risk of preterm birth after adjustment for individual characteristics and behaviors.
Christine Dunkel Schetter is a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and is director of the Health Psychology Program there. She has conducted research on pregnancy and birth from an multidisciplinary perspective since 1983, including several prospective studies of ethnically diverse and low income populations in California. Her research has focused broadly on the role of stress in preterm delivery, especially identifying the components of stress and emotion that predict preterm birth, the biological and behavioral pathways involved, ethnic disparities and cultural factors in pregnancy, and the roles of other psychoso-