Roberto Romero, MD, D.Med.Sci., is Chief of the Perinatology Research Branch and Head of the Program for Perinatal Research and Obstetrics in the Division of Intramural Research of NICHD/NIH.
Dr. Romero trained at Yale University in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Subsequently, he joined the Yale faculty and became the Director of Perinatal Research. In 1992, he became Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Wayne State University and Chief of the Perinatology Research Branch of NICHD/NIH.
Over the last 25 years, Dr Romero’s work has focused on the early diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy, the prenatal diagnosis of congenital anomalies and the study of the mechanisms of disease responsible for pregnancy complications and fetal injury with a special emphasis in preterm labor and infection.
An author of over 850 peer reviewed publications and several books, Dr. Romero is the recipient of countless awards and recognitions by his peers, including the President’s Achievement Award from the Society for Gynecologic Investigation, Research Excellence Awards from the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Central Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Erich Saling Award from the World Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Ian Donald Gold Medal for contributions to Ultrasound awarded by the International Society for Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and, most recently, the Maternité Prize in Obstetrics, awarded by the European Congress of Perinatal Medicine. He is also the recipient of seven Doctorate Honoris Causa from Universities all over the world, and is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of the United States.
Dr. Romero’s work in premature labor has focused on the role of infection and inflammation in spontaneous preterm labor and delivery. His research team described the involvement of cytokines and chemokines in the initiation of human labor and the fetal inflammatory response syndrome, as well as the preterm parturition syndrome. A recent breakthrough under Dr. Romero’s leadership has been the demonstration that vaginal progesterone can reduce the risk of early preterm birth by 45% in women with a short cervix. This treatment can also reduce the rate of respiratory distress syndrome of premature babies. It is estimated that universal screening of pregnant women with ultrasound to detect a short cervix and vaginal progesterone would save the United States $500 million per year.