The Forum at Columbia University, 605 W. 125th St., New York, NY 10027 Auditorium
Dr. Joy-Sarah Vink completed her Ob/Gyn training at Georgetown University and her Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) fellowship at Columbia University Medical Center. She is a physician-scientist who is also the 2012 recipient of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine / American Association of Obstetricians & Gynecologists Foundation Scholarship which supports her translational research focusing on the biochemical and biomechanical etiologies of cervical insufficiency/preterm cervical shortening and preterm birth. Dr. Vink’s interest in this area results from the fact that approximately 1 in 8 pregnancies results in a preterm birth, yet the pathophysiology of preterm birth remains largely unknown. Regardless of the inciting event, the end result in all cases of preterm birth is premature cervical remodeling followed by cervical dilation and delivery of the fetus.
To date, the biochemical pathways mediating cervical remodeling have yet to be clearly elucidated. Dr. Vink’s research goal is to delineate the pathways involved in premature cervical remodeling. Once established, this knowledge can be translated to rational, noninvasive and easily adaptable approaches to measure cervical remodeling biomarkers that will identify pregnancies at risk for premature cervical remodeling and thus preterm birth. These biomarkers would identify women earlier in pregnancy that are at high risk of preterm birth due to premature cervical remodeling and provide an opportunity for these women to seek interventions such as steroids for fetal lung maturity or transport to a hospital capable of managing preterm deliveries. As a result of this research as well as her clinical experience, Dr. Vink brings to each patient the expertise necessary to evaluate and, if required, treat disorders of the cervix.