Kavita Arora, MD, Division Chief
Dr. Arora’s research prioritizes reproductive justice and advancing sexual and reproductive healthcare in a patient-centered and inclusive manner. She combines her expertise and experience in ethics, quality, and health policy towards ensuring evidence-based and equitable reproductive health policy. She is currently studying disparities in postpartum contraception with a focus on surgical permanent contraception (sterilization) as well as counseling and decision-making regarding postpartum contraception. She employs mixed methods analyses and benefits from multidisciplinary collaborators around the country.
Andrea Knittel, MD
Dr. Knittel’s research investigates the complex relationships between involvement in the criminal legal system and reproductive health transitions and decisions at the individual, partner, and community levels. Her work shows that criminal legal involvement is a social force with effects on substance use treatment in pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, HIV risk, and contraceptive access. She has lead projects using complex longitudinal secondary data analysis, agent-based modeling, primary abstraction and analysis of medical record data, and qualitative data analysis from focus groups and in-depth interviews.
Chemtai Mungo, MD
Dr. Mungo is passionate about using research, advocacy, and capacity-building to pursue global women’s health equity. Her primary research is focused on increasing access to effective, evidence-based cervical cancer prevention in low-income countries, including investigating resource-appropriate and effective methods of treating cervical precancer, especially among women living with HIV in low-resource settings. She is also studying dysplasia treatment outcomes following thermal ablation in low-resource settings.
Lisa Rahangdale, MD
Broadly, Dr. Rahangdale’s research interests lie in understanding how infectious diseases affect the reproductive health of women and how to optimize primary and secondary prevention measures. She has experience in leading qualitative, quantitative, and translational research in reproductive infectious disease, particularly in her research interests in HPV and HIV. She has studied topical therapies as primary or adjuvant therapy for CIN 2-3 and options to increase access to cervical cancer screening. Her research in HIV has included studies of reproductive health decision-making, acceptability of HIV testing, stigma experienced by HIV-infected women, and pharmacologic impact of antiretroviral medications in pregnancy. She is a member of the MACS/WIHS Combined Cohort Study (MWCCS) HPV and GYN/Pregnancy working groups and serves as a panel member for the Department of Health and Human Services Panel on Treatment of HIV-Infected Pregnant Women and Prevention of Perinatal Transmission Guidelines.
John M. Thorp Jr, MD
Our Division has had the privilege of leading a study center within the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development since 2000. This Network includes 14 academic health centers across the US and has done practice changing clinical trials in the management of pregnancy. Groundbreaking discoveries include the use of progesterone to prevent preterm birth, magnesium for neuroprotection of babies facing imminent preterm birth, the use of corticosteroids in births about to occur between 34 to 37 weeks, and the management of gestational diabetes. Important observational studies have included women undergoing trial of labor after cesarean section and hepatitis C infections. The UNC center under the physician leadership of John Thorp and nursing leadership of Kelly Clark conducts this research across the UNC Health System focusing on the Medical Center groups involved in obstetrics (General OB, Maternal Fetal Medicine, and Midwifery) and includes affiliated sites in the Duke and Wake Med systems. We also partner with the Prisma Health System in Greenville, SC. Current trials include studies to look at the role of pessaries in preventing preterm births, tranexamic acid to reduce bleeding after delivery, screening and treatment of sleep apnea in pregnancy, and different approaches to post-operative pain management. Observational studies include a registry of preterm births and COVID infections during pregnancy. Our Center can be contacted by patients at our website and by clinicians via the Departmental website.
Pfizer RSV Trial: https://rsvvaccinestudy.com/en-us/index.html
Our Research In The News
The Compare-UF Study
Comparing Options for Management: Patient Centered Results for Uterine Fibroids (COMPARE-UF) is a voluntary registry of 10,000 women with uterine fibroids that seeks to answer questions that matter most to patients with fibroids when considering the pros and cons of different treatment options. To help women make these decisions, COMPARE UF will collect information from participants about their medical history, planned and previous treatment for their fibroids, current symptoms, and quality of life.