Dr. Carolyn Salafia

Dr. Salafia is one of a small handful of pathologists nationally who specialize in reproductive pathology. She has recently been awarded a POR (Patient-Oriented Research) Scholarship to the Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. As a full-time graduate student, her studies have allowed her to focus her daily clinical diagnoses more squarely on those questions that she feels may be most in need of an answer. First, how do we know who will recur with a next pregnancy complication or loss? The current limited methods of obstetric risk assessment "...complicate our ability to honestly assess the effects of treatment, and may cause many women to be exposed to unnecessary treatment … and worry," Dr. Salafia says. "There are more and more tests that can be done to evaluate pregnancy loss and more and more ways to follow pregnancy by ultrasound and to treat. We need a better understanding of recurrence risk to be able to treat only those women who need treatment. We also need better ways to detect the causes of loss, so our treatments can be directed to the specific tissue-damaging process. Our goals are to use this new training in research methodology to tackle these problems head-on." Together with her clinical colleagues, she is also developing surveillance and treatment trials for vascular causes of early and late pregnancy complications.

Dr. Salafia maintains a clinical diagnostic consultation and research program with a wide range of obstetric, reproductive endocrine, genetic and pathology collaborators. She has been supported by federal and private funding agencies, and her current training is NIH-sponsored. She sits on numerous editorial boards of medical journals and is a member of, among others, the Society for Gynecologic Investigation, the Teratology Society, the Society for Pediatric Pathology, and the American Society of Reproductive Immunology. She has authored approximately over 100 original manuscripts and book chapters and 200 abstracts and received grant awards from the National Institutes of Health, including a K23 Mentored Mid-Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Mental Health, the goals of which were to evaluate our current methods of placental evaluation and develop novel measures that can improve our understanding of how gestational pathology appears to create risk for neurodevelopmental disorders. She was a National Science Foundation sponsored Fellow in 2007, 2008 and 2009 to the Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics at UCLA, where she has developed a multidisciplinary team that has created a number of novel means to measure and quantitate placental growth and development and its disease states including acute intraamniotic infection.

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