Yale Awarded $12.5 Million to Oversee Reproductive Studies

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded Yale School of Medicine $12.4 million to design studies and oversee collection of data for an initiative to improve understanding of infertility and other reproductive diseases and disorders.

Problems such as infertility, endometriosis, abnormal uterine bleeding, and pelvic floor disorders can cause pain and disrupt functioning at work and at home, or lead to death or major surgery, said Heping Zhang, principal investigator and professor in the division of biostatistics at Yale School of Public Health (YSPH).

Zhang, director of YSPHs Collaborative Center for Statistics in Science, will oversee the study design, data management, informatics, and statistics gathering in a network of eight sites. The five-year grant is from the NIHs National Institute on Child Health and Human Development.

“This grant is another indication of the success of Dr. Zhang’s program, as well as the quality of Yale in biostatistics,” said Yale School of Medicine Dean Robert Alpern, M.D.

YSPH Dean Paul Cleary said the grant “will allow biostatisticians and other investigators at Yale School of Medicine to play a key role in creating a framework for gathering and analyzing information that will offer insights into the medical problems related to male and female reproductive systems.”

The Yale center was founded last year when Zhang received more than $10 million in federal funding to coordinate the National Genomic and Proteomic Network for Preterm Birth Research. The center aims to be the leader in fostering collaborations in statistical research methods and technologies to understand the cause, treatment, and prevention of diseases.

In addition to Yale, the network includes Pennsylvania State University, the University of Colorado, the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the University of Vermont, and Wayne State University.

Hugh Taylor, M.D., and Pasquale Patrizio, M.D., of the Yale Fertility Center, will provide clinical and scientific expertise. Robert Makuch, professor of biostatistics at YSPH, will assist in the design, conduct, and analysis of clinical studies. Lawrence Scahill, professor of nursing and child psychiatry, will help with study designs and coordinate multi-site clinical trials.

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