Research and Innovation

From pre-conception to the first weeks of pregnancy through the birth of your baby, our specialists offer years of innovation and extraordinary care. Our Stanford Medicine neonatologists, maternal-fetal medicine doctors, obstetricians, and endocrinologists specialized in fertility and reproductive health care are researchers and professors in the Stanford School of Medicine’s Neonatal and Developmental Medicine, Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Obstetrics, and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility divisions. Through their advancements in their fields, they are able to provide state-of-the-art care to promote the health of individuals seeking to build a family and of pregnant people and newborns.

Overcoming roadblocks to fertility and reproductive health

At Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, our Fertility and Reproductive Health Services is home to the nation’s leading embryologists and reproductive endocrinologists, who offer cutting-edge treatments and new fertility solutions as part of their extensive research.

Innovations by our fertility physician-scientists include advances in the genetic causes of infertility, new solutions for recurrent pregnancy loss, and astounding breakthroughs in in vitro fertilization and sperm/egg viability.

Learn more about our discoveries in infertility >

A destination for individuals with complex, high-risk pregnancies

Our Stanford Children’s obstetricians and maternal-fetal medicine doctors are dedicated to providing you with the most advanced, research-inspired care. Our doctors treat individuals with low-risk pregnancies (more than one-third of our cases) as well as high-risk pregnant individuals with preexisting health conditions or those who develop a pregnancy complication, in partnership with our Fetal and Pregnancy Health Program team. Stanford is home to the Dunlevie Maternal-Fetal Medicine Center, which reimagines high-risk obstetrics with bold and transformative research to improve care and quality of life for moms and babies. We are also active in several leading national collaborative trials. Due to our excellence in care and research, we have been named a National Institutes of Health Research Center of Excellence.

Our recent obstetrics research efforts and innovations include finding ways to lessen maternal morbidity by reducing postpartum hemorrhage, discovering long-term effects of preeclampsia on women’s cardiovascular health, and improving maternal health equity.

Learn more about our maternal-fetal medicine/obstetrics research >

Breakthrough care for expectant individuals with rare fetal diagnoses

Our exceptionally comprehensive Fetal and Pregnancy Health Program team pushes the limits to provide leading-edge and novel therapies for individuals with complex pregnancies—e.g., placental disorders—in partnership with our Maternal-Fetal Medicine team, and rare fetal diagnoses.

Novel research is in progress on ways to improve noninvasive prenatal diagnoses by developing new molecular approaches; advance fetal imaging information and accuracy; and develop multidisciplinary continuum of care strategies for fetal cystic fibrosis, renal agenesis, and other diagnoses.

Learn more about our fetal and pregnancy innovations

A birthplace of modern neonatology

As global leaders in neonatology—the study and practice of caring for newborns—our physician-scientists have advanced their field in the United States for more than half a century. They have developed care methodologies that have become common practice. Instead of focusing exclusively on repair of disorders, they work to prevent many conditions from happening.

Innovations include the creation of the first Prematurity Research Center, the development of a noninvasive blood test that can predict premature births, the design of the first apnea monitor, the creation and use of radiant-warmed transport incubators, and the design of novel phototherapy and optical imaging devices to monitor infection and gene expression in vivo.

Learn more about our neonatology innovations >

New blood test can detect premature birth

Measuring RNA fragments in a pregnant woman’s blood gives a reliable estimate of the baby’s due date and can predict if the baby will arrive prematurely, a Stanford-led team has shown.

Learn more about the test