Research Division

Research Day Hailey

The OB-GYN Research Division’s mission is to identify emerging scientific areas and ensure that we are poised to lead in those areas, to develop and maintain infrastructures required for conducting cutting edge research, to promote continuing education for the research team, to identify the needs of the research community and to align our services to meet those needs. The division will direct research efforts to tackle significant disease related problems, especially in the areas necessary to transfer new discoveries towards drug production for treatments.

Our goal is to support the research and educational missions of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; to generate knowledge that will advance understanding and the treatment of disease that affect women and their reproduction. Due to the expansion of knowledge in genomics, proteomics, metabolism and stem cell biology the division will seek involvement in translating these advances into solutions to improve human health and well being.

Division of Research Goals and Responsibilities

  • To provide education to all department staff in the conduct of research
  • To assist all staff in the development and conduct of research
  • To act as a research related resource for all department staff
  • To disseminate research opportunities, funding opportunities, and research findings to all department staff
  • To review all research projects to be conducted by department staff
  • To act as a gatekeeper of all research conducted in the OB/GYN department

Research Programs

Gynecological Issues

  • Uterine fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Menopause
  • Contraception

Perceived and Real Barriers to Accessing Long-Acting Reversible Methods of Contraception

Principal Investigator: Saifuddin Mama
Co-Investigators: Amanda Malik, Lauren Finch, Isabella Gloria Silvestre, Bianca Hall, Dominique McKeever, Hilary McGrath, Neel Iyer, Samantha So, Tieg Beazer, Alexander Santangelo

Obstetric Issues and Disorders

  • Hypertension
  • Preterm labor
  • Genetic anomalies
  • Thrombophilia in pregnancy
  • Fetal cardiac anomalies
  • Cancer and pregnancy
  • Gastroschisis
  • OB/GYN postoperative care
  • HIV and pregnancy
  • Diabetes and pregnancy
  • Postpartum depression


The Need for Presurgical Evaluation for Placenta Accreta Spectrum.  Am J Perinatol.

Einerson BD, Shamshirsaz AA, Stephenson ML, Khandelwal M, Holt R, Duzyj CM, Shrivastava VK. 2023;40(9):996-1001. Epub 2023/06/20. doi: 10.1055/s-0043-1761639. PubMed PMID: 37336217.


Imaging the Uterus in Placenta Accreta Spectrum Disorder. Am J Perinatol.

Khandelwal M, Shipp TD, Zelop CM, Abuhamad AZ, Afshar Y, Einerson BD, Fox KA, Huisman T, Lyell DJ, Perni U, Platt LD, Shainker SA.  2023;40(9):1013-25. Epub 2023/06/20. doi: 10.1055/s-0043-1761914. PubMed PMID: 37336220.


Surgical Techniques for the Management of Placenta Accreta Spectrum. Am J Perinatol.

Khoury-Collado F, Newton JM, Brook OR, Carusi DA, Shrivastava VK, Crosland BA, Fox KA, Khandelwal M, Karam AK, Bennett KA, Sandlin AT, Shainker SA, Einerson BD, Belfort MA. 2023;40(9):970-9. Epub 2023/06/20. doi: 10.1055/s-0043-1761636. PubMed PMID: 37336214.


Cooper University Health Care is a member of the Perinatal Research Consortium.

Cooper was granted 2 small research Grants from the Perinatal Research Consortium:

  1. Variation in Charge to Average Cost Ratio for Uncomplicated Births in the United States. Avery Gulion, BA, MS2; Krystal Hunter, Ph.D., M.B.A.; Meena Khandelwal, M.D. using NIS database - $2500
  2. Effects of Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy on left ventricular Myocardial strain and central aortic stiffness - A Prospective Pilot Study. Bhaven Murji, M.B.B.S., Msci; Meena KHandelwal, M.D.; Lawrence Mulligan, Ph.D. FHA; Kunal Deolankar, M3; Ludmil Mitrev, M.D.; Michele Mele, M.D.; Robert A. Hirsh, M.D. - $10,000


Cancer in Pregnancy Registry – Dr. Elyce Cardonick

  1. Incidence of Neonatal Neutropenia and Leukopenia After In Utero Exposure to Chemotherapy for Maternal Cancer.

    La Nasa M, Gaughan J, Cardonick E. Am J Clin Oncol. 2019 Nov;42(11):884.
  2. Obstetric and maternal outcomes in patients diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma during pregnancy: a multicentre, retrospective, cohort study.

    Maggen C, Dierickx D, Lugtenburg P, Laenen A, Cardonick E, Shmakov RG, Bellido M, Cabrera-Garcia A, Gziri MM, Halaska MJ, Ottevanger PB, Van Calsteren K, O'Laughlin A, Polushkina E, Van Dam L, Avivi I, Vandenberghe P, Woei-A-Jin FJSH, Amant F; International Network on Cancer, Infertility and Pregnancy. Lancet Haematol. 2019 Nov;6(11):e551-e561. doi:
  3. Gastric cancer during pregnancy: A report on 13 cases and review of the literature with focus on chemotherapy during pregnancy.

    Maggen C, Lok CA, Cardonick E, van Gerwen M, Ottevanger PB, Boere IA, Koskas M, Halaska MJ, Fruscio R, Gziri MM, Witteveen PO, Van Calsteren K, Amant F; International Network on Cancer, Infertility and Pregnancy (INCIP). Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2020 Jan;99(1):79-88. doi: 10.1111/aogs.13731. Epub 2019 Oct 16.
  4. Preliminary results of identification and quantification of paclitaxel and its metabolites in human meconium from newborns with gestational chemotherapeutic exposure.

    Cardonick E, Broadrup R, Xu P, Doan MT, Jiang H, Snyder NW. PLoS One. 2019 Feb20;14(2):e0211821

Pelvic Medicine

  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Efficacy of various “bladder sling” products
  • Botox in the urogynecologic population
  • Long term success of female pelvic reconstructive surgery

Dr. Saifuddin Mama

Phase 2, Multicenter, Double-blind (Sponsor-unblinded), Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study of the Safety and Efficacy of Elagolix in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. (IND#139609) – to start

A Multicenter, Observational Cohort Study of Women Receiving Standard of Care (SOC) for the Treatment of Pelvic Pain Attributable to Suspected or Confirmed Endometriosis – in process


1. Standardized terminology of apical structures in the female pelvis based on a structured medical literature review.  Balgobin S, Jeppson PC, Wheeler T 2nd, Hill AJ, Mishra K, Mazloomdoost D, Dunivan GC, Anand M, Mama ST, Bochenska K, Lewicky-Gaupp C, Balk EM, DeLancey J, Corton MM; Society of Gynecologic Surgeons Pelvic Anatomy Group. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Mar;222(3):204-218.

2. Advances in the management of endometriosis in the adolescent. Mama ST. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Oct;30(5):326-330

Dr. Lioudmila Lipetskaia

“Improving quality of life for gynecologic cancer survivors through introducing early screening and intervention for pelvic floor dysfunction”

Funded by Rowan University Grants

1. “Urinary incontinence and quality of life in endometrial cancer patients after robotic-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy with lymph node dissection”.  Lipetskaia L, Sharma S, Johnson MS, Ostergard DR, Francis S. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2019 Oct;39(7):986-990.

2. “Do anxiety traits predict subjective short-term outcomes following prolapse repair surgery?”  Collins AF, Doyle PJ, Duecy EE, Lipetskaia LV, Lee TG, Buchsbaum GM

Gynecological Oncology

  • Malignant disease in OB/GYN population
  • Cervical cancer
  • Dysplasia in pregnancy


Outcomes of the "BRCA Quality Improvement Dissemination Program": An initiative to improve patient receipt of cancer genetics services at five health systems. 

Bednar EM, …, Warshal DP, Bowman E, Goedde TA, Halaharvi D, Rath K, Grana G, Mina L, Lu KH. Gynecol Oncol. 2023;172:106-14. Epub 2023/04/03. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2023.03.016. PubMed PMID: 37004303; PMCID: PMC10192022.

Reproduction, Endocrinology, and Infertility

  • Infertility treatment
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Embryo transfer
  • Miscarriage
  • Cancer and Pregnancy National registry

Infectious Disease

  • Vulvovaginitis
  • HPV

Health research

Complimentary and Alternative Medicine
Resident Research
  • Gyn postoperative care
  • Preterm labor and preterm birth
  • Infertility
  • Sexual function in women with gyn cancers
  • Urinalysis and the urogynecology population
  • Type of pelvis and clinical pelvimetry

“Recurrent Posterior Uterine Rupture in the Setting of Transabdominal Cerclage”

Principal Investigator: Hailey Hutcheson, MD
Faculty Advisor: Michelle Iavicoli, MD

“The Availability and Type of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Content on Sperm, Oocyte, and Embryo”

Principal Investigator: Kyle Le, MD
Faculty Advisor: Richard Fischer, MD

“Olive Oil Use During Second Stage of Labor Effect on Obstetric Lacerations: Interim Analysis Abstract”

Principal Investigator: Blaire Nasstrom, DO
Faculty Advisor: Guy Hewlett, MD


“Hysterectomy Type and Intraoperative Outcomes in Cesarean Delivery Prior to 28 Weeks Gestation”

Principal Investigator: Danielle Schenker, MD
Faculty Advisor: Richard Fischer, MD


2022-2023 Resident QI/PI Projects:

“Improving Attendance at Postpartum Appointments”

Sabrina Brunozzi, MD; Cosette Gabriel, DO; Stephanie Kass, MD; Chelsea Katz, MD
Faculty Mentor: Amanda Malik, MD

“Reducing Post Cesarean Section Narcotic Use”

Caroline MacGillivray, MD; Lexie, Quinonez, DO; Anna White, DO; Amelle Williams, MD
Faculty Mentor: Peter Chen, MD

“Severe Hypertension Treatment”

Alexa Corso, DO; Emily Hahm, MD; Alyssa Lasure Black, MD; Karissa Rajagopal, DO
Faculty Mentor: Rori Dajao, MD


Research Day group


Fellowship Research


“Gene Expression of Sphingosine-1-Phosphate Pathway in Human Overactive Bladder: A Pilot”

Principal Investigator: Jess Beausang, MD
Faculty Advisor: Lioudmila Lipetskaia, MD

“Comparing Cannabinoid Receptor Expression in the Human Perineum and Posterior Vaginal Tissue”

Principal Investigator: Devon Smith, DO
Faculty Advisor: Lioudmila Lipetskaia, MD


Gynecological Oncology

“Ovarian Sparing Surgery in Endometrial Cancer”

Principal Investigator: Diego Aviles, MS
Faculty Advisor:  Lauren Krill, MD

Current Research Projects


Postpartum Depression Longitudinal Study: A Care Coordination Intervention

Investigators: Drs. Kim and Iavicoli


  • EDPS score of 10 or more and between 1-6 months postpartum. (English only unfortunately)


  • Study team is screening all postpartum visits, calling, and consenting remotely.
  • Patients complete 4 surveys over a year and are provided $25 for completing each one.


EASE Study: A randomized, controlled study to EvAluate the Safety and Effectiveness of the Materna Prep Device to pre-stretch (i.e., dilate) the vaginal canal and pelvic floor tissues in preparation for vaginal delivery.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Rori Dajao

Co-Investigators: Drs. Lipetskaia, Khandelwal, Hutcheson, and Nasstrom! (anyone else interested?)


  • Looking to consent nulliparous patients over the age of 18
  • Randomizing and potential device placement at 6-8 cm dilation


Pregnancy Loss - LosSEQ

Perinatal Research Consortium NIH Grant through Harvard University

Principal Investigator: Dr. Robin Perry

Co-Investigators: Please reach out if interested


  • Clinical provider to ask the patient if she is willing to be approached about the study.
  • Please text or call Dr. Perry or Alex Santangelo.
  • Please remember to collect a 1 to 2 cm section of the umbilical cord on all stillbirths, stored ambient in fridge with saline.


  • In utero fetal demise, >14 weeks gestation and occurring prior to the onset of labor
  • Parent are 18 years or older
  • No confirmed cause


Assessment of Urinary Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology in the evaluation and management of females with chronic bladder pain and cystitis-like symptoms

Principal Investigator:       Dr. Lipetskaia

Co-Investigators: Drs. Eggers, Mama

General Inclusion:

  • Symptomatic subjects with perceived bladder pain +/- urinary storage symptoms or symptomatic patients with chronic cystitis-like symptoms
  • previous failure of standard urine culture directed therapy approach
  • 3 months of continuous symptoms


Research Division: General Updates

Studies currently in startup:

    • RallyBio FNAIT Natural History Study, aiming for startup in August – Dr. Khandelwal
    • Site selected for Maternal GBS Vaccine Trial, Q4 2023 start – Dr. Chen
    • Tafoxiparin a new drug candidate for labor – Looking For PI!
      • Phase 3 Trial planning meeting in Sept 2023
    • parsNIPS: parallel aneuploidy and recessive surveillance via NIPS – Looking For PI!