New and Noteworthy 

Learn about our faculty and trainees who have recently been recognized for excellence in clinical care, research, teaching, and leadership. 


Research in Disparities in OBGYN Care Symposium 

Disparities in OBGYN

Sandra Orsulic, PhD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, organized the JEDI research symposium “Research in Disparities in OBGYN Care” which focused on research on racial and socioeconomic disparities in obstetrics and gynecology care. Presenters included Martins Ayoola, MD, 2nd year fellow, Bridgette Blebu, PhD, MPH, research analyst II, Michael Richardson, MD, 4th year resident, Grace Riley, 4th year medical student, and Alexandra Smick, MD, 1st year fellow.  

Women's Cancer Survivors Conference 

The UCLA Division of Gynecologic Oncology hosted the inaugural women’s cancer survivors conference, “Surviving and Thriving after Cancer - What’s Next?” Our gynecologic oncologists, medical oncologists, and physician assistants shared clinical and holistic interventions to improve health and quality of life for cancer survivors. Participants were also able to attend breakout sessions on hot flashes, brain fog, sexual health and intimacy, and mood swings.

Honors, Awards and Appointments 

Beth Karlan, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, has been selected to serve as the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Guidelines Steering Committee Chair. The NCCN is a non-profit alliance of 33 leading cancer centers in the United States devoted to patient care, research and education. Learn more here.

Sanaz Memarzadeh, MD, PhD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, was recently honored with a UCLA Specialty Training and Advanced Research (STAR) Distinguished Alumni Award for her achievements in research and mentorship of the next generation of physician-scientist leaders. Learn more here

Aparna Sridhar, MD, MPH, associate clinical professor in obstetrics and gynecology, has been elected as a new member of the European Society of Contraception & Reproductive Health (ESC) Board for the 2024-2028 term. 

The journals Gynecologic Oncology and Gynecologic Oncology Reports named an annual Editorial award in honor of Dr. Beth Karlan, professor of obstetrics and gynecology. The Beth Y. Karlan, MD Award for Editorial Excellence was recently bestowed upon Dr. Gregg Nelson, Professor and Chair, Gynecologic Oncology, Cumming School of Medicine in Alberta, Canada.  


Yalda Afshar, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, received a $100,000 Bridge Grant from the David Geffen School of Medicine Office at UCLA of Physician Scientists Career Development. 

Yalda Afshar, MD, received a $75,000 Bridge funding grant from the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine/American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 

Martins Ayoola-Adeola, MD, gynecologic oncology fellow, with mentorship from Sandra Orsulic, PhD, received the OCRA Mentored Fellowship Award of $75,000 from the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance for his project titled “Perioperative Nanotherapy for Ovarian Cancer.”   

Christina Han, MD, associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology, received a grant from the UCLA Academic Senate Council on Research for the project "Induction of labor interventions and maternal & neonatal outcomes." Dr. Han, along with project investigators Dr. Daniel Lee, health sciences clinical instructor of obstetrics and gynecology, and Dr. Alex Gould, OBGYN resident, aim to standardize induction of labor protocols in the department of obstetrics and gynecology.

Sanaz Memarzadeh, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, received a $1.2 million grant from the Veterans Affairs Office to better understand what causes ovarian cancer to recur and how to better target the disease. Learn more at the UCLA Health Newsroom 

Lisa Nicholas, MD, associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology, is an investigator on a 5-year federal grant from HRSA to fund research on reducing birth disparities and perinatal risk through Safety -Net Perinatal Medial Homes that prevent and address the physical and psychosocial impacts of maternal stress.  The grant is a subaward in partnership with the Charles Drew University Black Maternal Health Center of Excellence. 

Sandra Orsulic, PhD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, received a $459,569 Department of Defense Pilot for Restoring Humanin for Ovarian Cancer Prevention.  

Aparna Sridhar, MD, MPH, associate professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology, received a grant from the UCLA Academic Senate Council on Research for the project "Due for the PAP: A Peer Ambassador Program for medical students during obstetrics and gynecology clerkship." Dr. Sridhar aims to improve the clerkship experience of our medical students.


Aparna Sridhar, MD, MPH, associate clinical professor in obstetrics and gynecology, presented the following: 

  • Moderator for “Art of Birthing” workshop at AICOG 2024, Hyderabad India. 
  • Contraception for Medically Complex Patient at AICOG 2024, Hyderabad India. 
  • Beyond written evals: Establishing afferent and efferent pathways for clerkship quality improvement- round table discussion at APGO Faculty Development Seminar, Jacksonville, Florida January 2024 
  • Contraception Updates: Invited Presentation at the FemmTeck IV – Presidential Inauguration Conference, Mumbai India, November 2023. 

Sandra Orsulic, PhD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, presented the following: 

  • “Understanding the Earliest Stages of Cancer Cell Attachment to the Peritoneal Mesothelium” at the SGO Bridges Research Initiative, on September 8, 2023.  
  • “The Role of Extracellular Matrix in Ovarian Cancer” at the 5th Annual Ovarian Cancer Midwest Focus (OCMF) Conference on November 13, 2023 in Minneapolis, MN. 
  • “Distinct Stages in Mesothelial Wound Healing and Inflammation Facilitate Ovarian Cancer Cell Implantation” at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Research on Reproduction and Women’s Health, University of Pennsylvania on November 29th, 2023 in Philadelphia, PA.  


Afshar Y, Yin O, Jeong A, Martinez G, Kim J, Ma F, Jang C, Tabatabaei S, You S, Tseng HR, Zhu Y, Krakow D. Placenta accreta spectrum disorder at single-cell resolution: a loss of boundary limits in the decidua and endothelium. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2024 Apr;230(4):443.e1-443.e18. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2023.10.001. Epub 2024 Jan 30. PMID: 38296740. 

Askew I, Raney L, Kerrigan M, Sridhar A. Family planning saves maternal and newborn lives: Why universal access to contraception must be prioritized in national maternal and newborn health policies, financing, and programs. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2024 Feb;164(2):536-540. doi: 10.1002/ijgo.15127. Epub 2023 Sep 23. PMID: 37740702. 

Broz M, Ko E, Ishaya K, Xiao J-F, De Simone M, Hoi XP, Piras R, Gala B, Tessaro F, Orsulic S, Lund A, Chan KS, Karlstaedt A, Guarnerio J. Metabolic targeting of cancer associated fibroblasts overcomes T-cell exclusion and chemoresistance in soft-tissue sarcomas. Nature Communications, 2024, in press 

Dellapiana G, Mok T, Platt LD, Silverman NS, Han CS, Esakoff TF. Sensitivity of antenatal ultrasound in diagnosing posterior placenta accreta spectrum disorders. J Perinat Med. 2024 Jan 22;52(3):288-293. doi: 10.1515/jpm-2023-0491. PMID: 38243911. 

Desmond A, Nguyen KL, Watterson CT, Sklansky M, Satou GM, Prosper AE, Garg M, Van Arsdell GS, Finn JP, Afshar Y. Integration of Prenatal Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Congenital Heart Disease. J Am Heart Assoc. 2023 Nov 20;12(22):e030640. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.123.030640. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37982254; PMCID: PMC10727279. 

Desmond A, Satou G, Garg M, Kallapur S, Horenstein J, Goldstein J, Van Arsdell G, Afshar Y. Fetal Pericardial Teratoma: Perinatal Management and Example of Preterm Cesarean Birth to Resection. JACC Case Rep. 2023 Dec 17;29(3):102169. doi: 10.1016/j.jaccas.2023.102169. PMID: 38361551; PMCID: PMC10865117. 

Dumesic DA, Abbott DH, Chazenbalk GD. An Evolutionary Model for the Ancient Origins of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. J Clin Med. 2023 Sep 22;12(19):6120. doi: 10.3390/jcm12196120. PMID: 37834765; PMCID: PMC10573644. 

Dumesic DA, Turcu AF, Liu H, Grogan TR, Abbott DH, Lu G, Dharanipragada D, Chazenbalk GD. Interplay of Cortisol, Testosterone, and Abdominal Fat Mass in Normal-weight Women With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. J Endocr Soc. 2023 Jun 7;7(8):bvad079. doi: 10.1210/jendso/bvad079. PMID: 37404244; PMCID: PMC10315644. 

Einerson BD, Sandlin AT, Afshar Y, Sharawi N, Fox KA, Newton JM, Shainker SA, Pezeshkmehr A, Carusi DA, Moroz L. General Management Considerations for Placenta Accreta Spectrum. Am J Perinatol. 2023 Jul;40(9):1026-1032. doi: 10.1055/s-0043-1761915. Epub 2023 Jun 19. PMID: 37336221. 

Francoeur AA, Kang SL, Senaratne TN, Saitta S, Murali A, Peters K, Hansman E, Chen A, Parvataneni R, Patil R, Rible R, Sridhar A, Stoddard A, Zapata M, Krakow D, Pluym ID. The Role of Preprocedure Genetic Counseling in Pregnancies Interrupted for Fetal Abnormalities. Am J Perinatol. 2024 Mar;41(4):383-394. doi: 10.1055/s-0043-1777706. Epub 2023 Dec 28. PMID: 38154468. 

Hu Y, Recouvreux, MS, Haro M, Taylan E, Taylor-Harding B, Walts AE, Karlan BY, Orsulic S. INHBA(+) cancer-associated fibroblasts generate an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment in ovarian cancer. npj Precision Oncology 2024; 8(1):35 .PMID: 38360876  

Karlan BY. Improving the Lives of Women With Ovarian Cancer. Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2024 Jan 15. doi: 10.1097/GRF.0000000000000851. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38230704. 

Kasikova L, JRakova J, Hensler M, Lanickova T, Pasulka J, Drozenova J, Mojzisova K, Fialova A, Vosahlikova S, Laco J, Dundr P, Kocian R, Brtnicky T, Skapa P, Kovar M, Praznovec I, Halaska MJ, Rob L, Prochazka J, Mikyskova R, Reinis M, Ryska A, Cibula D, Orsulic S, Galluzzi L, Spisek R, Fucikova J. Mature tertiary lymphoid structures are associated with clinically relevant T cell exhaustion in ovarian cancer. Nature Communications, 2024, in press  

Khandelwal M, Shipp TD, Zelop CM, Abuhamad AZ, Afshar Y, Einerson BD, Fox KA, Huisman TAGM, Lyell DJ, Perni U, Platt LD, Shainker SA; Pan American Society for Placenta Accreta Spectrum (PAS2). Imaging the Uterus in Placenta Accreta Spectrum Disorder. Am J Perinatol. 2023 Jul;40(9):1013-1025. doi: 10.1055/s-0043-1761914. Epub 2023 Jun 19. PMID: 37336220.  

Kim JS, Leung KL, Eng IK, Sridhar A. Surgical education for medical students: Virtual game-based learning. Med Educ. 2024 Feb 16. doi: 10.1111/medu.15332. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38362925. 

Koch M, Tyson N, Bhuinneain GMN, Kasliwal A, Conry J, Sridhar A. FIGO position statement on comprehensive sexuality education. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2024 Feb;164(2):531-535. doi: 10.1002/ijgo.15319. PMID: 38219018. 

Kotsopoulos J, Gronwald J, Huzarski T, Møller P, Pal T, McCuaig JM, Singer CF, Karlan BY, Aeilts A, Eng C, Eisen A, Bordeleau L, Foulkes WD, Tung N, Couch FJ, Fruscio R, Neuhausen SL, Zakalik D, Cybulski C, Metcalfe K, Olopade OI, Sun P, Lubinski J, Narod SA; Hereditary Breast Cancer Clinical Study Group. Bilateral Oophorectomy and All-Cause Mortality in Women With BRCA1 and BRCA2 Sequence Variations. JAMA Oncol. 2024 Feb 29:e236937. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2023.6937. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38421677; PMCID: PMC10905374. 

Lubinski J, Kotsopoulos J, Moller P, Pal T, Eisen A, Peck L, Karlan BY, Aeilts A, Eng C, Bordeleau L, Foulkes WD, Tung N, Couch FJ, Fruscio R, Ramon Y Cajal T, Singer CF, Neuhausen SL, Zakalik D, Cybulski C, Gronwald J, Huzarski T, Stempa K, Dungan J, Cullinane C, Olopade OI, Metcalfe K, Sun P, Narod SA; Hereditary Breast Cancer Clinical Study Group. MRI Surveillance and Breast Cancer Mortality in Women With BRCA1 and BRCA2 Sequence Variations. JAMA Oncol. 2024 Feb 29:e236944. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2023.6944. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38421676; PMCID: PMC10905376. 

Mei JY, Afshar Y. Hypertensive complications of pregnancy: Hepatic consequences of preeclampsia through HELLP syndrome. Clin Liver Dis (Hoboken). 2023 Dec 8;22(6):195-199. doi: 10.1097/CLD.0000000000000088. PMID: 38143815; PMCID: PMC10745250. 

Mei JY, Mok T, Cambou MC, Fuller T, Fajardo VM, Kerin T, Han CS, Nielsen-Saines K, Rao R. Can prenatal ultrasound predict adverse neonatal outcomes in SARS-CoV-2-affected pregnancies? Am J Obstet Gynecol MFM. 2023 Sep;5(9):101028. doi: 10.1016/j.ajogmf.2023.101028. Epub 2023 Jun 7. PMID: 37295718; PMCID: PMC10247147.  

Rapkin A, Satmary W. A deep dive into devices for sexual health. Contemporary OBGYN. 2024 April;69(2):14-17. 

Richardson MT, Barry D, Steinberg JR, Thirunavu V, Strom DE, Holder K, Zhang N, Turner BE, Magnani CJ, Weeks BT, Young AMP, Lu CF, Wolgemuth TR, Laasiri N, Squires NA, Anderson JN, Karlan BY, Chan JK, Kapp DS, Roque DR, Salani R. Underrepresentation of racial and ethnic minority groups in gynecologic oncology: An analysis of over 250 trials. Gynecol Oncol. 2024 Feb;181:1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2023.12.001. Epub 2023 Dec 13. PMID: 38096673. 

Sobhani NC, Goemans S, Nguyen A, Chambers ME, Richley M, Gabby LC, Field N, Han CS, Ramos GA. Continuous glucose monitoring in pregnancies with type 1 diabetes: small increases in time-in-range improve maternal and perinatal outcomes. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2024 Jan 17:S0002-9378(24)00024-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2024.01.010. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38242337. 

Tiffany Lai, Alex Francoeur, Erica Manrriquez, Puja Venkat, Albert Chang, Michael Douek, Simin Bahrami, Steven S. Raman, Sanaz Memarzadeh. Percutaneous interstitial brachytherapy ablation for targeting oligometastatic gynecologic cancers. Brachytherapy. 2024 March 6;164(2):531-535. doi: 10.1016/j.brachy.2023.12.007. 

Yin O, Coscia L, Constantinescu S, Moritz MJ, Afshar Y, Irani RA. Pregnancy after deceased donor vs living donor kidney transplant: associated obstetric and graft outcomes. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2024 Feb;230(2):256.e1-256.e12. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2023.08.009. Epub 2023 Aug 16. PMID: 37595824.