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Perinatal Research Laboratory

Dr. Buhimschi Lab

Dr. Irina Buhimschi is the Director of the Perinatal Research Laboratory at UIC.

She received her M.D. degree from the Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest, Romania. She then completed her postgraduate and postdoctoral training at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas and University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.

Dr. Buhimschi’s research spans the broad area of molecular and pathophysiologic mechanisms for preterm labor and preeclampsia that together account for the large majority of preterm births, stillbirths and neonatal deaths. A central focus of investigation is in applying innovative technology platforms such as proteomics, genomics and metabolomics to understand and distinguish among the different causes of preterm birth with special emphasis in identifying the mechanisms accounting for racial disparities in preterm birth.

Dr. Irina Buhimschi was recruited in 2019 by UIC from the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital where she served as Director of the Center for Perinatal Research. During her tenure at Nationwide, she oversaw the academic productivity of 20 Principal Investigators conducting basic, translational, and clinical research focused on prevention of preterm birth and improvement of perinatal outcomes.

Dr. Irina Buhimschi is known for her proteomics studies that led to a new understanding of several pregnancy complications, including inflammation-induced preterm birth, preeclampsia, and preterm premature rupture of membranes. Her laboratory was the first to identify protein misfolding and proteostasis derangements similar to Alzheimer’s disease in preeclampsia. The practical application of this research led to the Congo Red Dot test, a device that measures urine congophilia and is under development for improved detection of preeclampsia in the United States and worldwide. Because of its potential to decrease maternal and neonatal mortality, the Congo Red Test received the Patents for Humanity Award from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), an award reserved for game-changing technology that meets global humanitarian challenges.

At UIC, Dr. Buhimschi continues to pursue further research and scaling of the Congo Red Dot test, and she is developing new biomarkers to aid the detection and treatment of prevailing perinatal and neonatal complications.