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Photo of Buhimschi, Irina

Irina Buhimschi, MD,MMS

Professor, Director Research Division, Associate Vice-Chancelor for Research

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology



820 S. Wood Street, MC 808 Chicago, IL 60612

Office Phone:

(312) 996-8786


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Irina A Buhimschi, MD, is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Director of the Perinatal Research laboratory in the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Medicine. Her research is highly translational and is focused on important problems in perinatal medicine such as preterm birth and preeclampsia. Investigations of pathogenesis of these conditions converge into practical solutions aimed at optimizing maternal and perinatal outcomes through systems biology approaches.

During the last decade, the Buhimschi laboratory has embarked on discovery of biomarkers for prediction of preterm birth and preeclampsia using proteomics at the front-end of the experimental pipeline. These experiments are followed or integrated with other types of omics data (transcriptomics, metabolomics) and more recently metagenomics. Concurrently, knowledge of the identity of the biomarkers enables in depth understanding of dysregulated biological pathways with the goal of identifying druggable targets. 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 has 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.

Dr. Irina Buhimschi’s research has been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), March of Dimes, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and most recently by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for international work aimed at scaling-up the Congo Red Dot test in low-resource health care settings to reduce maternal mortality from preeclampsia. She has published more than 180 peer-reviewed publications and is the inventor on 12 patents. She serves on numerous grant review committees for the NIH, March of Dimes and private foundations. She is also the Associate Editor for Pediatric Research and a member of editorial boards for several subspecialty journals. Dr. Buhimschi has mentored numerous junior faculty, maternal fetal medicine and neonatology fellows, T32-funded medical students, graduate students, college students and high school students. Because of her expertise in clinically applied omics approaches she is frequently solicited to frequently co-mentors K08-awardees who are interested in pursuing translational research. Many students and trainees have published first author papers in high impact journals such as Science Translational Medicine, Circulation, Nature Scientific Reports and Hypertension.

At her prior institution, Dr. Buhimschi spearheaded and served as Principal Investigator on The Futures Matter Program (NICHD-funded), an institute wide summer research experience program aimed at encouraging talented students from local high schools to pursue STEM-related college majors that would lead to careers that could help advance pregnancy- and child-health research. The goal of the program was to sensitize high school students to the importance of applied bioinformatics as required by the medicine of the future. Dr. Buhimschi is involved in mentoring of faculty, MFM fellows, residents and medical students interested in perinatal research and/or global health.

Selected Publications

Rood KM, Buhimschi CS, Dible T, Webster S, Zhao G, Samuels P, Buhimschi IA. Congo Red Dot paper test for antenatal triage and rapid identification of preeclampsia. The Lancet. 2019.8:47-56.

Li J, Wang X, Ackerman WE 4TH, Batty AJ, Kirk SG, White WM, Wang X, Anastasakis D, Samavati L, Buhimschi I, Nelin LD, Liu Y. Dysregulation of Lipid Metabolism in Mkp-1 Deficient Mice during Gram-Negative Sepsis. International Journal of Molecular Science 2018;19:12.

Stetson BT, Buhimschi CS, Keller BA, Hay K, Buhimschi IA, Maitre NL. Comparison of cerebral palsy severity between two eras of antenatal magnesium use. Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics. 2019;173(2):188-190.

Nayeri UA, Buhimschi CS, Zhao G, Buhimschi IA, Bhandari V. Components of the antepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum exposome impact on distinct short-term adverse neonatal outcomes of premature infants: A prospective cohort study. PLoS One 2018;13(12).

Allen TK, Nazzal MN, Feng L, Buhimschi IA, Murtha AP. Progestins Inhibit Tumor Necrosis Factor α-Induced Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 Activity via the Glucocorticoid Receptor in Primary Amnion Epithelial Cells. Reproductive Science 2018.26(9):1193-1202.

Rood KM, Buhimschi CS, Zhao G, Oliver EA, Summerfield T, Bahtiyar MO, Buhimschi IA. Tenascin-x in Amniotic Fluid and Reproductive Tissues of Pregnancies Complicated by Infection and Preterm Prelabor Rupture of Membranes. Biology of Reproduction 2018. 100(3):773-782.

Motawea HKB, Chotani MA, Ali M, Ackerman W, Zhao G, Ahmed AAE, Buhimschi CS, Buhimschi IA. Human Placenta Expresses α2-Adrenergic Receptors and May Be Implicated in Pathogenesis of Preeclampsia and Fetal Growth Restriction. American Journal of Pathology 2018. 188(12):2774-2785.

Kouza M, Banerji A, Kolinski A, Buhimschi I, Kloczkowski A. Role of Resultant Dipole Moment in Mechanical Dissociation of Biological Complexes. Molecules 2018:23(8).

Ali M, Rogers LK, Heyob KM, Buhimschi CS, Buhimschi IA. Changes in Vasodilator-Stimulated Phosphoprotein Phosphorylation, Profilin-1, and Cofilin-1 in Accreta and Protection by DHA. Reproductive Sciences 2018.26(6):757-765.

Rood KM, Buhimschi IA, Jurcisek JA, Summerfield TL, Zhao G, Ackerman WE, Wang W, Rumpf RW, Thung SF, Bakaletz LO, Buhimschi CS. Skin Microbiota in Obese Women at Risk for Surgical Site Infection After Cesarean Delivery. Scientific Reports 2018;8(1):8756.

Kouza M, Co NT, Li MS, Kmiecik S, Kolinski A, Kloczkowski A, Buhimschi IA. Kinetics and mechanical stability of the fibril state control fibril formation time of polypeptide chains: A computational study. Journal of Chemical Physics 2018;148(21):215106.


Selected Presentations

NIH/NICHD RO1, “Misfoldome-centered MultiOMICS approach to unravel preeclampsia subphenotypes.” 2015-2020, Principal Investigator

NIH/NIAID R21 “Mkp-1 suppresses immune checkpoint protein PD-L1 to prevent sepsis-associated immune dysfunction and mortality” 02/11/2019 – 01/30/2021, Co-Investigator (PI: Y. Liu, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital)

NIH/NHLBI R01 “Early prediction of spontaneous patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) closure and PDA-associated outcomes” 12/15/2018 – 11/30/2023, Co-Investigator (PI: J. Slaughter & C. Backes, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital)