Department of
Obstetrics and Gynecology


Irene Ong, PhD
Associate Director of UW Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center Cancer Informatics Shared Resource, and Department of Biostatistics & Medical Informatics.
Reproductive Sciences

Office Address
UW Hospital and Clinics
600 Highland Ave
Madison, WI, 53705

Administrative Assistant
Cindy Goss


B.A. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
M.S. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

Honors and Awards

NIH R13 Sponsored Attendance Perinatal Research Society Grants Writing Workshop

K12 Scholar,
UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research

Burroughs Wellcome Pre-Term Birth Grant

Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award

American Family Funding Initiative Award

Career Enhancement Program Award,
Wisconsin Head and Neck Cancer SPORE

Patankar and Ong earn grant from UW Prevention Research Center

UW Ob-Gyn Division of Reproductive Sciences Director Manish Patankar, PhD, and Irene Ong, PhD, earned a Special Interest Project grant from the UW-Madison Prevention Research Center! Their project will focus on detecting early-stage ovarian cancer, with a goal of developing computational tools to help identify early-stage ovarian cancer and improve patient outcomes.

In collaboration with Jesus Gonzalez Bosquet, MD, PhD, of the University of Iowa, and Peter Argenta, MD, of the University of Minnesota, they will use machine learning models to examine electronic health record data from the three institutions to determine whether demographic/clinical variables, social determinants of health, and high-frequency germline genetic variants can be used to identify early predictors of ovarian cancer.

Congratulations, Dr. Patankar and Dr. Ong! Read more about the goals of this project in this article on WKOW: 

UW Health launches new project to detect ovarian cancer sooner

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


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!

Ong’s work on AyrFlo intervention featured in Madison Magazine

Over the last few years, Irene Ong, PhD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Reproductive Sciences, has been working with clinician-scientists in the SMPH Departments of Anesthesiology and Radiology to develop a device that could identify respiratory distress earlier.

An article in the November 2021 issue of Madison Magazine introduces the team behind AyrFlo, tracks their progress in developing the device, and highlights some funding victories – and unexpected pandemic challenges:

“In 2017, they won WARF Accelerator Phase I Funding , making Bilen-Rosas and Ong the first women from the medical school to ever win. In July 2019, they received a Phase II award from WARF’s accelerator program. This allowed them to take their prototype to sedation patients — and into the operating room that fateful day. Sixteen more patients followed — then COVID-19 hit, effectively halting the case studies.”

Read the whole article here!

Stanic Lab published in American Journal of Reproductive Immunology

new article out of collaborative research between Aleks Stanic-Kostic, MD, PhD and Irene Ong, PhD was published in the American Journal of Reproductive Immunology!

Multiomic analysis reveals decidual-specific transcriptional programing of MAIT cells” examines the possible role of Mucosal-Associated Invariant T (MAIT) cells in tissue-repair mechanisms at the maternal-fetal interface. Stanic Lab members Jessica Vazquez, PhD and Melina Chavarria are shared first authors on the publication, while Stanic and Ong are senior authors.

Read the whole publication here!

Ong publishes article on antibody binding in SARS-CoV-2 infections in PLOS Biology

Many researchers over the last many months have shifted their focus to help us better understand and treat SARS-CoV-2, and that’s true of some of the brilliant research minds in the UW Department of Ob-Gyn! Irene Ong, PhD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Reproductive Sciences co-authored the article “The landscape of antibody binding in SARS-CoV-2 infection” in PLOS Biology.

In the article, Ong and co-authors try to get a fuller picture of antibody responses in SARS-CoV-2 infections: 

Many questions remain regarding the biology and immunology related to SARS-CoV-2. Our extensive profiling of epitope-level resolution antibody reactivity in COVID-19 convalescent patients, confirmed by independent assays, provides new epitopes that could serve as important targets in the development of improved diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2 and dangerous human CoVs that may emerge in the future.

Read the whole article here. Incredible work, Dr. Ong!