Research - Obstetrics and Gynecology at UCLA

Lab Researcher

The UCLA Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology is committed to basic and translational research in a quest to develop new treatments and cures for a wide array of women’s health conditions. Our department has ongoing research in the areas of high risk pregnancies, postpartum depression, polycystic ovarian syndrome, elucidation of the genetic basis of congenital birth defects, cutting-edge work in advancing cures for ovarian and endometrial cancers and a robust clinical trials program.

Our Researchers

Yalda Afshar, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor In-Residence of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine
Dr. Afshar is a physician-scientist with clinical and research interests that intersect and include high-risk pregnancy, prenatal ultrasound, genetic testing, and congenital heart disease, either affecting the mother or fetus. Dr. Afshar is a recipient of a National Institute of Health Reproductive Scientist Development Award. Her research is focused on congenital heart disease and placentation, among other translational pregnancy related topics. 
Research Lab > 


Daniel Dumesic, MD
Professor of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology 
Dr. Dumesic completed his medical degree at University of Wisconsin Medical School, his obstetrics & gynecology residency and his reproductive endocrinology fellowship at UCSF School of Medicine. His primary research interest is focused on reproductive and metabolic problems related to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and other related diseases.
Women's Reproductive Health Research Program > 


Marta Epeldegui, PhD
Assistant Professor-In-Residence of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology
Dr. Epeldegui’s primary research efforts focus on immunology and AIDS-non-Hodgkin lymphoma. She is funded by several research grants from the National Cancer Institute.


Beth Y. Karlan, MD
Professor and Vice Chair of Women’s Health Research in UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, Director of Cancer Population Genetics at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Dr. Karlan’s research focuses on ovarian and other women’s cancers as well as inherited cancer susceptibility.  Her career has been committed to identification and development of novel and cutting edge treatments for women with gynecologic malignancies.  She has authored over 375 research publications, is an American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professor, and is Editor-in-Chief of the scientific journals Gynecologic Oncology and Gynecologic Oncology Reports. In 2012, Dr. Karlan was appointed by the White House to serve on the National Cancer Advisory Board and in 2015 she was elected to membership in the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Karlan is a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and in 2019 was recognized with the OncLive Giants of Cancer award.


Deborah Krakow, MD
Chair of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Professor of Human Genetics at UCLA
Dr. Deborah Krakow has spent the last 20 years studying the genetic and biochemical basis of osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), a complex disorder of poor bone mineralization. Her research employs biochemical approaches and animal models to develop a deeper appreciation of the complicated biology that underlies OI and bone. Her research focused primarily on osteoporosis or metabolic bone disease as it affects women.  While her work includes the study of individuals who have any defects in skeletogenesis, Dr. Krakow is particularly committed to brittle bone disease (OI). She is currently part of The Brittle Bone Consortium, an NIH funded multi-institution consortium to study the longitudinal history in OI. The focus of the effort is to appreciate the longitudinal history of the disorder, particularly its negative impact on bone. Dr. Krakow is a PI for a subaward that is investigating reproductive outcomes in women with OI, and is also PI on a Program Project Award to study the role of endoplasmic reticulum stress in brittle bone disease.


Sanaz Memarzadeh, MD, PhD
Professor of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology
Dr. Memarzadeh is a physician-scientist with a primary interest in gynecologic cancer. Clinically, she specializes in minimally invasive robotic surgery, ovarian cancer debulking surgery, and complex pelvic and abdominal surgeries. In addition to her clinical work, Dr.  Memarzadeh is a scientist performing leading edge research aimed at advancing therapies for women impacted by gynecologic cancers.  
Research Lab > 


Sandra Orsulic, PhD
Professor-In-Residence of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology 
Dr. Orsulic received her PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her postdoctoral training included a fellowship at the Max-Planck-Institute for Immunobiologie and a fellowship at both the National Institute of Health and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Her innovative research work is in the area of cancer associated fibroblasts and molecular signatures of disease. Dr. Orsulic is funded by the National Institute of Health, the Department of Defense, and the Veterans Administration.
Research Lab > 


Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Research
Female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery encompasses a number of areas related to female pelvic health. The UCLA Urogynecology doctors focus on advancing the field of urogynecology through conducting research, practicing evidence-based medicine, and using only the most up-to-date and rigorously tested techniques. Actively participating in research helps our practice stay at the forefront of female pelvic medicine, reconstructive surgery, and obstetrics and gynecology.