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Photo of Buhimschi, Irina A.

Irina A. Buhimschi, MD, MMS

Center Affiliate, Center for Research on Women and Gender

Program Director, Principal Investigator, BIRCWH

BIRCWH Mentor, Center for Research on Women and Gender


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 joined OVCR as Associate Vice Chancellor for Research in November 2023.  Her 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.