Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Katherine E. Hartmann, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Scientist Development
Deputy Director, Institute for Medicine and Public Health
Director, Women’s Health Research
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Medicine
Member

Contact Info

Phone
(615) 322-0964

Email
katherine.hartmann@vanderbilt.edu

Address
2525 West End Avenue, Suite 600

Katherine E. Hartmann, M.D., Ph.D.

Overview

Since 1999, Dr. Hartmann has been a senior investigator with Right from the Start (RFTS), and she is now PI of the family of RFTS grants that examine risks for adverse pregnancy outcome, such as miscarriage, spontaneous preterm birth, and growth restriction. In this cohort, exposures addressed have ranged from caffeine and prenatal vitamin use, to chlorination by-products in water and environmental xenoestrogens like phthalates.

RFTS now includes complete data on topics like maternal physical activity, alcohol use, and omega-3 fatty acid consumption that are available for more than 4,500 pregnancies. The study design is unique for including so many women with data from around the time of conception and early pregnancy, and for uniform use of ultrasound to assess early fetal development and to precisely date ongoing pregnancies. The RFTS investigator team and Dr. Hartmann plan to expand this research into areas of maternal and infant genetic markers and nutrition that include moving into research observation of early childhood development and health status. This cohort may provide a new vehicle to explore subtle influences on brain and neurological development, as well as investigating antecedents and potential targets for preventive interventions to reduce risk of prematurity and the often associate disabilities.