UCLA Cardio-Obstetrics Symposium, A Live Virtual Meeting: Saturday, March 12, 2022


The UCLA Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine is co-organizing the  UCLA Cardio-Obstetrics Symposium to be held on Saturday, March 12, 2022. This CME-accredited symposium aims to improve the care of women with known cardiovascular disease, as well as improve recognition of signs and symptoms of cardiac issues in pregnancy, with the goal of decreasing cardiovascular, pregnancy related morbidity and mortality by improving education, and multidisciplinary planning in the care of these complex patients. We welcome participation from: adult cardiologists, cardiology practice teams, cardiac and obstetric anesthesia teams: physicians, obstetric teams, and obstetric practice teams. For more information and registration, visit the  UCLA CME website or download our brochure (PDF).

UCLA faculty who have been recognized for excellence in clinical care, research, teaching and leadership. 


Aparna Sridhar MD, MPH, Associate Clinical Professor of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, is the new Chair of the Contraception Committee for the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO). Dr. Sridhar's appointment is for a 2-year term and her goal for the committee is to become “the global voice to support coordination of policies concerning contraceptive care and access.”

Two faculty members have assumed new roles with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Mya Zapata, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology and Labor and Delivery Director at the UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center, is the newly elected Vice Chair for ACOG's District IX – Los Angeles section. Angela Chen, MD, MPH, Associate Clinical Professor of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, is now the Society of Family Planning liaison for ACOG's Committee on Health Economics and Coding (CHEC).


Tamara Grisales, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program for her vaginal drug delivery system project.

Beth Karlan, MD, Professor of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vice Chair of Women's Health Research, and the Director of Cancer Population Genetics at  UCLA Health Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, co-led a study in which cancer researchers and stem cell scientists used cells from ovarian cancer patients who carried a BRCA1 mutation to create organoids that mimic fallopian tubes. The organoid model provides a platform for scientists to study factors that lead to cancer development in BRCA1 mutation carriers as well as factors that might prevent transformation to cancer. The findings were published in Cell Reports.

Tiffany Lai, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, is leading a new pilot study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of pembrolizumab for high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). Given that there are currently no good alternatives to surgery for patients with premalignant diseases of the cervix, this innovative trial seeks to determine if immunotherapy is a treatment option for women with CIN.

Aisling Murphy, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, is studying urine metabolomics in gestational diabetes for which she received funding.

Sandra Orsulic, PhD, Professor of  UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, has received four recent grants for her gynecologic oncology research. A CTSI Pilot Research Award from the UCLA Iris Cantor- UCLA Women's Health Center will support her study on the nuclear features of Atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS). A generous gift from the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation supports research that focuses on the mechanism by which the INHBA gene orchestrates immunosuppression in ovarian cancer.  The Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation provided funding for her work on an implantable “tumor trap” for metastatic cancer cells. For her newest research project, “Artificial Intelligence-Assisted Classification and Management of Cervical Cytology with ASCUS,” Dr. Orsulic received funding as part of a  UCLA CTSI Grant and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.


Christopher Tarnay, MD, Clinical Professor of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, in partnership with the non-profit Medicine for Humanity, recently led a volunteer team on a trip to Uganda to provide medical services and training. The UCLA team included Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery fellows, Dr. Rotimi Nettey and Dr. Dmitry Volkin, as well as Badru Mutawe, a registered nurse, and Raymond Cervantes, a surgical technician. In five days, the team performed 45 surgeries to cure obstetric fistula and pelvic floor disorders and trained Ugandan doctors to perform surgery with the goal of building a self-sustaining clinic.


Sandra Orsulic, PhD, Professor of  UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, was invited to give the following presentations: 

  1. The Tumor Microenvironment. UCLA Health Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) Research Seminar, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA. October 21, 2021.
  2. Cancer-associated Fibroblasts.The Center for Experimental Therapeutics (CET) at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Distinguished Seminar Series. November 18, 2021.

Rajita Patil, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Aneesh Gupta, MD, UCLA Family Planning Fellow, will present the success of the NTTA program and the results of a study at the upcoming Women's Health Update 2022 conference. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology implemented a no-test telemedicine abortion (NTTA) model of care in Spring 2020, giving women access to a medication abortion without requiring an ultrasound or in-person clinic visit.

Aparna Sridhar MD, MPH, Associate Clinical Professor of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, presented “Audio Encounters as Propellants for Student Performance Evaluations” at the APGO Faculty Development Seminar Innovative Festival. January 10, 2022. Additionally, she conceptualized and moderated a global virtual exchange session between FOGSI (India) and ACOG on Alloimmunization of pregnancy. October 2021.

Several abstract presentations were given at the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine's 2022 Annual Pregnancy Meeting, and we are highlighting the following:

  • Abstract #38: Maternal immune profiles of abnormal prenatal ultrasonographic findings following SARS-CoV-2 infection (Thalia Mok, MD)
  • Abstract #274: Association of prenatal ultrasonographic findings with neonatal outcomes in pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection (Thalia Mok, MD)
  • Abstract #943: Severe COVID-19 in pregnancy has a distinct metabolomic profile which defines clinical outcomes (Marie Altendahl, BA)
  • Abstract #1163: Single-Cell Analysis of Placenta Accreta Spectrum Reveals Functionally Distinct Cell Populations (Ophelia Yin, MD)