Department of
Obstetrics and Gynecology

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AND PUBLIC HEALTH
Portrait

Ian Bird, PhD
Director of Endocrinology Reproductive Physiology Graduate School Program
Reproductive Sciences



Office Address
Meriter Hospital
202 S. Park (Meriter)
Madison, WI, 53715


Administrative Assistant
Cindy Goss
cgoss@wisc.edu
608-417-6314

Education

BSc Birmingham University, Birmingham, U.K.
PhD University of London, Middlesex Hospital Medical School, London U.K.
Fellowship University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland
Fellowship UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, TX

Honors and Awards

President Elect, Perinatal Research Society, active as President

Secretary Treasurer Elect, Society for Reproductive Investigation

Secretary Treasurer, Society for Reproductive Investigation

Slesinger Award for Excellence in Mentoring Women Faculty (UW-Madison Office of the Secretary of the Faculty Award)


Memberships

Society for Gynecologic Investigation

Perinatal Research Society


Advanced MRI For Uteroplacental Flow, Perfusion, Oxygenation & Inflammation (Shah and Weiben PI, Bird CoI/Alternate PI)

Sponsor(s): NIH/NICHD U01 HD087216

The purpose of this award is to develop new MRI imaging methodologies for the monitoring of normal blood flow, oxygenation and immune cell location in the human placenta in early pregnancy and follow those changes to term.

 


Importance of Endothelial Cell-Cell Communication at the Maternal Fetal Interface test

Sponsor(s): NIH P01 HD038843- (Bird-PI)

This proposal studies cell-cell communication in uterine and umbilical vascular endothelium in pregnancy and the role of kinase activation in regulating those processes in preeclampsia.


UW Ob-Gyn named Preeclampsia Center of Excellence by Preeclampsia Foundation

After a highly successful visit from Preeclampsia Foundation CEO Eleni Tsigas in the summer of 2022, the Department of Ob-Gyn was named a Preeclampsia Center of Excellence!

In June 2022, Kara Hoppe, DO, MS, associate professor of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Ian Bird, PhD, professor of Reproductive Sciences, and Derek Boeldt, PhD, assistant professor of Reproductive Sciences, presented their respective clinical and foundational preeclampsia research to Tsigas. The visit also included a roundtable lunch with patients and nurses and a site visit to EPIC, where Hoppe served as the physician representative.

The visit was a tremendous effort from all involved and this Preeclampsia Center of Excellence designation is well-deserved!


Bird published in Journal of Molecular Endocrinology

Congratulations to Ian Bird, PhD, professor in the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Reproductive Sciences, who published a new study in the Journal of Molecular Endocrinology!

Bird and postdoctoral scholar Luca Clemente, PhD, published “The Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor in Healthy Pregnancy and Preeclampsia”, which consider evidence for the possibility that the endothelial dysfunction observed in preeclampsia might in some cases result from elevation of endothelial epidermal growth factor receptor (EFGR):

“During pregnancy, trophoblasts are known to synthesize large amounts of EGFR protein, and the placenta regularly releases syncytiotrophoblast (STB)-derived exosomes and microparticles into the maternal circulation. Although there are no reports of elevated Egfr gene expression in preeclamptic endothelial cells, the ongoing shedding of placental vesicles into the vascular system raises the possibility that EGFR-rich vesicles might be taken up by the endothelium, thereby contributing to the symptoms of PE by interrupting angiogenesis and blocking pregnancy adapted vasodilatory function.”

Incredible work, Dr. Bird and Dr. Clemente! Read the whole study here


Grand Rounds: Bird presents “The role of Th17 associated immune and endothelial cell fate changes in hypertensive pregnancy”

On July 14, 2022, Professor Ian Bird, PhD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Reproductive Sciences, presented the Grand Rounds lecture “The role of Th17 associated immune and endothelial cell fate changes in hypertensive pregnancy”.

In the lecture, Bird identified recent advances being made in the department on immune cell endothelial cell interactions in preeclampsia and discussed the proposed P01 submission to NHLBI by UW Ob-Gyn faculty to investigate preeclampsia.

Watch the whole lecture here!


Congratulations to winners of UW Ob-Gyn 2022 department awards!

On June 23, 2022, the UW Department of Ob-Gyn held its annual awards ceremony, recognizing educational, research and administrative accomplishments throughout the year.

The ceremony started by acknowledging a few momentous departures. Many people retired from the department this academic year, including:

Carol Carr, CNM (Midwife in the ASOG Division)

Janet Short (Medical Student Education program coordinator)

Theresa Duello, PhD (Research)

Joel Henry, MD (ASOG Division)

Laurel Rice, MD (Gyn Onc Division and Department Chair)

Jenny Stevens, MBA (Department Administrator)

Departures:

Emily Buttigieg, MD – headed to Albert Einstein School of Medicine as an academic specialist in ob-gyn

Jay Lick, DO – transitioned practice to UW Health Urgent Care

Jackie Peebles, MD – academic position at the Medical College of Wisconsin

Makeba Williams, MD – Vice Chair of Professional Development in the Washington University in St. Louis Department of Ob-Gyn


In Memorium:

Jason Austin – Dr. Ian Bird shared remarks about Jason Austin, longtime member of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Reproductive Sciences, who passed away in March 2022. Jason was a senior research specialist who made countless contributions to our research mission, was an incredible educator of medical students, residents, fellows, postdocs and more, and his loss is deeply felt.


New Arrivals:

We also have the great joy of welcoming new arrivals: 

Scott Infusino, MD will join us in July as the Maternal-Fetal Medicine fellow. Infusino received his MD from Quinnipiac University, followed by ob-gyn residency at the University of Maryland.

A couple familiar faces will stay in our department for fellowships:

Matt Wagar, MD is the incoming Gynecologic Oncology fellow. Dr. Wagar attended the University of Minnesota Medical School and completed ob-gyn residency in our department. 

Ushma Patel, MD is the incoming Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery fellow. Dr. Patel attended Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and completed ob-gyn residency in our department.

And of course, we are thrilled to welcome the Ob-Gyn residency intern class!


MEDICAL STUDENT AWARDS

DR. SAMUEL G. PERLSON SCHOLARSHIP – Ingmar Bastian (Baylor), Katarina Braun (Yale), Leeann Bui (Santa Clara)

This award goes out to one or more fourth year medical students planning to pursue a career in Ob-Gyn who have demonstrated outstanding abilities as a scholar and outstanding humanistic qualities.

T.A. LEONARD AWARD – Jamie Elizabeth Brown, Francis Arnold Perkins

The T.A. Leonard Award is given to one or more medical students in recognition of exemplary performance on their third year Ob/Gyn rotation. 

MEDICAL STUDENT EDUCATOR AWARD FOR RESIDENT TEACHING – Matt Wagar, MD

This award is given to a UW-Madison, Obstetrics and Gynecology resident, selected by 3rd and 4th year medical students, who exhibits a high interest in teaching, actively involves students in patient care, teaches at an appropriate level, is respectful, approachable, honest, and is a great role model. 

OUTSTANDING RESIDENT TEACHING AWARD – Talya Spivak, MD

Given to the most exceptional resident teacher in all of UW SMPH, as voted on by UW-Madison’s 4th year medical students.


RESIDENCY AWARDS

CHIEF RESIDENT RECOGNITION – John Poehlmann, MD (Administrative Chief Resident), Vienna Tran, MD (Administrative Chief Resident), Matt Wagar, MD (first-ever Education Chief Resident)

For service as the chief residents, academic year 2021-22

UW HEALTH INTERDISCIPLINARY GLOBAL HEALTH TRACK RECOGNITION – Ushma Patel, MD

Given to a graduating resident upon the completion of the Global Health Track.

UW HEALTH RURAL TRAINING TRACK RECOGNITION – Alexa Lowry, MD

Given to a graduating resident upon the completion of the Rural Training Track. 

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF GYNECOLOGIC LAPAROSCOPISTS (AAGL) AWARD – Connor Wang, MD

Given to a PGY-3 resident with special excellence in endoscopic procedures.

SOCIETY OF LAPAROENDOSCOPIC SURGEONS (SLS) AWARD – Maya Gross, MD

Awarded to a PGY-3, outstanding laparoendoscopic resident.

RESIDENT CREOG AWARD – Maya Gross, MD

Awarded for the highest exam score on the annual CREOG In-Training Examination

BEN M. PECKHAM AWARD – Matt Wagar, MD

Awarded to a senior resident for excellence in the teaching and clinical practice of Ob-Gyn, as voted by the residents.

SOCIETY OF GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY (SGO) AWARD – Connor Wang, MD

Awarded to a PGY-3 who best exemplifies the qualities of the mission and vision of SGO.

SOCIETY FOR ACADEMIC SPECIALISTS IN GENERAL OBSTETRICS & GYNECOLOGY (SASGOG) AWARD – Jordan Ward, MD

Awarded to a PGY-4 who has distinguished themselves academically and demonstrates an interest in a career as an Academic Specialist.

AMERICAN UROGYNECOLOGIC SOCIETY (AUGS) AWARD – Madeline Wetterhahn, MD

Awarded to a PGY-3 resident demonstrating excellence in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, as chosen by the FPMRS faculty.

SOCIETY FOR MATERNAL-FETAL MEDICINE (SMFM) AWARD – Kaley Gyorfi, MD

Awarded to the PGY-2 resident who best exemplifies the qualities of the vision of our society to improve pregnancy and perinatal outcomes.


RESEARCH AWARDS

DOUGLAS W. LAUBE BEST TRAINEE PAPER AWARD – Kristal Gant, PhD

For the best peer reviewed paper by a graduate student dissertator or medical fellow.

ROLAND K. MEYER, PhD GRADUATE TRAINEE AWARD – Rachel Dahn, BS (mentor: Ian Bird); Kristal Gant, PhD (mentor: Manish Patankar)

Awarded to the graduate student dissertator showing the most scientific productivity and scholarly activity.

CHESTER B. MARTIN GRADUATE TRAINING PROGRAM MENTORSHIP AWARD – Luca Clemente, PhD (postdoctoral fellow in Ian Bird and Derek Boeldt’s lab)

Awarded to faculty or staff that has had the most impact on graduate student degree-related training.

PHILLIP R. HAMILTON III, MD RESIDENT RESEARCH AWARD – John Poehlmann, MD

Awarded to the senior residents demonstrating the best effort in research.      


ADVANCED PRACTICE PROVIDER AWARDS

APP/CNM EXCELLENCE AWARD – Megan Peterson, DNP

This award recognizes outstanding PA, NP, or CNM who routinely and regularly exemplifies the mission of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

BEST CONSULTING RESIDENT PHYSICIAN AWARD – Matt Wagar, MD

Given to a PGY-2, 3 or 4 who exemplifies significant consulting physician skills.


DEPARTMENT ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF AWARDS

OBGYN SUPPORT STAFF EXCELLENCE AWARD – Christy Lincicum

In recognition of outstanding staff who routinely and regularly exemplify the mission of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology through excellent performance and customer service.

JENNIFER STEVENS AWARD IN SUPPORT STAFF LEADERSHIP AWARD – Chad Craighill

In recognition of staff who display exemplary leadership skills, positive influence on colleagues, and an ability to affect change in support of the department’s mission and vision.

OBGYN SUPPORT STAFF PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT AWARD – Lisa Scott, PhD

In recognition of a commitment to lifelong learning and contributions to department success through continuing education.

OBGYN SUPPORT STAFF RISING STAR AWARD – Ariel Sorenson, MS

In recognition of a staff member who has been with the department 3 years or less who is emerging as a leader and whose record reflects ongoing and exceptional growth in contribution to the department mission. 


RESIDENT FACULTY RECOGNITION AWARDS

JOHN M. ANDERSON, MD MEMORIAL AWARD – Jackie Peebles, MD

For demonstrating the traits of Dr. Anderson: patience, integrity and compassion in the care of women.

KIMBERLEY J. MILLER-THORESON COMPASSIONATE COLLEAGUE AWARD – Patrice Grzebielski, MD

For demonstrating the traits of Dr. Miller-Thoreson showing respect, compassion, dedication and unending support towards their colleagues and trainees.

DOLORES A. BUCHLER AWARD – Luther Gaston, MD

For excellence in instruction at the senior resident level.

KARL A. RUDAT AWARD – Jay Lick, DO

For excellence in surgical teaching at the senior resident level.


FACULTY RECOGNITION AWARDS

LUIS “BEN” CURET AWARD IN OB-GYN EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE – Ian Bird, PhD

This award honors one individual who demonstrates a true passion for education. This awardee is selected by colleagues and recognizes one who exhibits compassion, patience, and respect for all learners and goes above and beyond expectations to create a positive educational experience within the discipline of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

LAUREL W. RICE OUTSTANDING FELLOW EDUCATOR AWARD – Jennifer Jacobson, MD

Given to one fellow for excellence in resident education.

ST. MARY’S ADJUNCT FACULTY EDUCATOR AWARD – Elizabeth Strom, MD (SSM Health)

Selected by the residents for excellence in resident education.

MERITER ADJUNCT FACULTY EDUCATOR AWARD – Sarah Yahnke, MD (Madison Women’s Health)

Selected by the residents for excellence in resident education. 

SOCIETY FOR ACADEMIC SPECIALISTS IN GENERAL OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY (SASGOG) AWARD – Cholene Espinoza, MD

National faculty award for dedication and commitment to the ideals of being an academic generalist.

SABINE DROSTE AWARD – Cholene Espinoza, MD

The Sabine Droste Award is selected by the junior residents for a faculty member who demonstrates excellence in instruction at the junior resident level.

ELLEN HARTENBACH AWARD – Emily Buttigieg, MD

Selected by the residents and given annually to the faculty member who has made the greatest contribution in simulation education.

CREOG FACULTY AWARD – Cholene Espinoza, MD

National faculty award for excellence in resident education.


Bird earns Meriter Foundation grant

Congratulations to Ian Bird, PhD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Reproductive Sciences! Bird recently earned a Meriter Foundation grant for the project “Cytokine induced antigen presentation as a source of endothelial dysfunction in pregnancy”.

This proposal is submitted to establish if the endothelial dysfunction already known to underlie hypertension in preeclampsia is in fact caused by a change in the fundamental nature of the endothelial cells, taking them from a vasodilatory state to an antigen presenting state. This pilot program involves in vitro modeling of those events and the development of a new full spectrum flow cytometry assay.

This project may allow researchers to apply findings to human control and preeclampsia subjects, which may lead first to novel diagnostic methods, and ultimately to new therapeutic strategies to predict and treat preeclampsia.

Incredible work, Dr. Bird!


Bird appointed as senior editor on editorial board of Journal of Endocrinology, Journal of Molecular Endocrinology

Huge congratulations to Ian Bird, PhD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Reproductive Sciences! Bird was appointed as senior editor to the editorial boards of the Journal of Molecular Endocrinology and Journal of Endocrinology

The Journal of Endocrinology and Journal of Molecular Endocrinology are well-established, successful journals of the UK’s Society for Endocrinology, and official journals of the European Society of Endocrinology and Endocrine Society of Australia. Both journals encourage submissions of basic and translational research from the field of endocrinology. JOE impact factor is 4.3, and the ME impact factor is 5.1.

Bird's appointment will last four years. Congratulations on this well-deserved honor, Dr. Bird!


Division of Reproductive Sciences prepares impressive slate of research for Society for Reproductive Investigation conference

The 2022 Society for Reproductive Investigation’s Annual Scientific Meeting, held in Denver, CO between March 15-19, features several presentations, posters and abstracts from members of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Reproductive Sciences! Just some of their exciting accomplishments:

Clinical and Translational Perinatology Oral Presentation:

Breastfeeding Promotes Predominant Bifidobacterium in Farm-Exposed Infants
Deborah Chasman, Krittisak Chaiyakul, Samantha Fye, James E Gern, Susan V Lynch, Christine M Seroogy, Irene M Ong

Maternal Biology and Health oral presentation:

Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid (PFOS) Increases Mean Arterial Pressure by Impairing Endothelial Nitric Oxide-Mediated Vasodilation and Enhancing Angiotensin II-Mediated Vascular Contraction in Pregnant Rats
Sri V Dangudubiyyam, Jay S Mishra, Ruolin Song, Sathish Kumar

Preeclampsia oral presentation:

Preeclampsia Differentially Dysregulates Female and Male Fetal Endothelial Cells Function and Transcriptomic Profiles in Lean and Obese Pregnancies.
Chi Zhou, Allison Yang, Colman Freel, Olivia Mills, Jing Zheng

Preeclampsia II Oral Presentation session, moderated by Aishwarya Rengarajan

Abstracts:

An Endogenous Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Ligand Induces Preeclamptic Phenotypes in Rats. Ying-jie Zhao, Chi Zhou, Hui-hui Li, Jay S Mishra, Sathish Kumar, Jing Zheng

Follicular Immune Signature of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in Women Undergoing Infertility Treatment. Soma Banerjee, Fernanda B Levya Jaimes, Abigail A Zettel, Eryne T Jenkins, Jason Austin, Laura G Cooney, Aleksander K Stanic

Immunohistochemical Localization of ACE2 in the Male Reproductive Tract in the Rhesus Macaque: Implications for Nonhuman Primate Model Development for COVID-19. Hayly Hinkle, Sierra Block, Ann Mitzey, Jenna Schmidt, Gregory Wiepz, Thaddeus G. Golos

Estradiol Protects Against Gestational Intermittent Hypoxia-Induced Hypertension and Metabolic Dysfunctions in the Adult Female Offspring. Ruolin Song, Jay S Mishra, Sri V Dangudubiyyam, Jyoti Watters, Tracy Baker, Sathish Kumar

Novel Role of Angiotensin Type 2 Receptor in Promoting Angiogenesis in Primary Human Uterine Artery Endothelial Cells. Jay S Mishra, Sri V Dangudubiyyam, Ruolin Song, Dong-Bao Chen, Sathish Kumar

Endothelial Dysfunction in Preeclampsia: The Story of the Interleukins. Rachel L Dahn, Amanda C Ampey, Jason L Austin, Ian M Bird

Congratulations to all!


Bird to lead new iPEnd T32 grant

We are pleased to announce a new translational postdoctoral T32 lead by our own Ian Bird, PhD, of the Division of Reproductive Sciences, in partnership with Dr. Jon Levine. This application is a part of the integrated Program in Endocrinology (iPEnd), started back in 2016.

This T32 is an unusual grant as it funds both PhD and MD trainees to undertake translational studies in reproductive biology and requires a translational step in humans or nonhuman primates. It is also linked to clinical fellowships in Maternal-Fetal Medicine, neonatology, and general endocrinology.

The program is newly funded for five years and funds four concurrent trainees. Each trainee will have two complimentary mentors working in a new area moving basic research towards clinical application. For more information, please contact Ian Bird or Grace Jensen at gjensen2@wisc.edu.


Bird publishes in International Journal of Neonatal Screening

Ian Bird, PhD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Reproductive Sciences, co-authored the article Newborn Screening for Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia: Review of factors affecting screening accuracy” in the International Journal of Neonatal Screening.

The article discusses limitations to current screening methods for 21-hydroxylase deficiency, and what that means for screening for congenital adrenal hyperplasia:

“Newborn screening for 21-hydroxylase deficiency (21OHD), the most common form of congenital adrenal hyperplasia, has been performed routinely in the United States and other countries for over 20 years. Screening provides the opportunity for early detection and treatment of patients with 21OHD, preventing salt-wasting crisis during the first weeks of life. However, current first-tier screening methodologies lack specificity, leading to a large number of false positive cases, and adequate sensitivity to detect all cases of classic 21OHD that would benefit from treatment. This review summarizes the pathology of 21OHD and also the key stages of fetal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis development and adrenal steroidogenesis that contribute to limitations in screening accuracy. Factors leading to both false positive and false negative results are highlighted, along with specimen collection best practices used by laboratories in the United States and worldwide. This comprehensive review provides context and insight into the limitations of newborn screening for 21OHD for laboratorians, primary care physicians, and endocrinologists.”

 Read the whole publication here!