The Return to Campus website has updates about WVU’s fall semester. Visit coronavirus.wvu.edu and CDC.gov for health resources related to the global pandemic.

Research

Our goal is to improve the medical care we provide to women with the knowledge gained from our research efforts. The department is committed to developing and maintaining a strong foundation of basic science, clinical, and translational research. 

Faculty Researchers

Leo Brancazio, MD, FACOG

Leo R. Brancazio, MD, FACOG, is a nationally recognized expert in high-risk obstetrics with extensive clinical experience in medical complications of pregnancy and pharmacology during pregnancy. Dr. Brancazio, Chair of the WVU Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is board certified in Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology.

He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from West Virginia University and completed his residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology and a fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Magee-Women’s Hospital at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Medical Specialties: Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

Clinical Focus: Medical complications during pregnancy and obstetrical complications.

I-Chung Chen, PhD, Assistant Professor

Dr. Chen received his PhD from the University of Texas at San Antonio and is an Embryologist with the WVU Center for Reproductive Medicine.

Research Interest: Utilizing pluripotent stem cells as a model to study infertility.

Clinical Focus: Infertility, embryology, and andrology.

Melanie Clemmer, PhD, Associate Professor

Dr. Clemmer is the IVF Laboratory Director for the WVU Center for Reproductive Medicine. She received her PhD in Reproductive Physiology from West Virginia University and completed a NIH Fellowship at Magee-Women’s Hospital at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Medical Specialties: Reproductive Medicine

Clinical Focus: Obesity and pregnancy complications, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), reproductive physiology, cell function, oocyte quality and follicle health.

Sarah Dotson, MD, Assistant Professor, Medical Director for Performance Improvement

Dr. Dotson, board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, received her Master in Public Health and Doctor of Medicine degrees from Dartmouth College. She completed her residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Duke University Medical School.

Medical Specialties: Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Clinical Focus: General obstetrics and gynecology, quality improvement and patient safety, and contraception.

Omar Duenas Garcia, MD, Associate Professor

Dr. Duenas, board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, received his Doctor in Medicine degree from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México – Instituto Nacional de Perinatología. He completed his residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine - Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, a fellowship in Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery at University of Massachusetts Medical School, and a Master in Public Health at University of Massachusetts Amherst.                                                                                                                                                               

Medical Specialties: Obstetrics and Gynecology, Urogynecology, and Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery.

Clinical Focus: Pelvic reconstruction, robotic surgery, urinary incontinence, minimally invasive surgery, vaginal surgery, fecal incontinence, and postoperative pain and the use of non-narcotic options.

Rawan El-Amin, DO, MPH, Assistant Professor and PI for the HAPI project

Dr. El-Amin is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine with a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree. She completed her residency at West Virginia University.

Medical Specialties: Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Mahreen Hashmi, MD, Professor

Dr. Hashmi, Residency Program Director and Medical Clerkship Director, is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology.                                                 

She received her Doctor of Medicine degree from the Medical College of Ohio and completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Riverside Methodist Hospitals.

Medical Specialties: Obstetrics and Gynecology and Surgery.

Clinical Focus: Endometriosis, laparoscopic surgery and robotic surgery.

Kelly Lemon, MSN, CNM, WHNP, Assistant Professor

Kelly Lemon is a Certified Nurse Midwife and Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She received her Bachelors in Nursing from West Virginia University and her Master of Science in Nursing, Midwifery and Women's Health from Georgetown University. She is dual-certified as a Certified Nurse Midwife and Women's Health Nurse Practitioner.                             

Medical Specialties: Obstetrical and gynecologic care for low-risk women across the lifespan, Perinatal Substance Use.

Clinical Focus: Perinatal and well-woman care across the lifespan, substance use disorder among women and during pregnancy, contraception and sexual/reproductive health.

Krista Pfaendler, MD, MPH, FACOG , Assistant Professor

Dr. Pfaendler received her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and her Master of Public Health from the University of California, Irvine. She completed her residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Cincinnati and her fellowship training in Gynecologic Oncology at the University of California, Irvine. She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Gynecologic Oncology. On a national level, Dr. Pfaendler serves as a core member of the NRG Oncology Cervix/Vulva Subcommittee; on an institutional level, Dr. Pfaendler is the Director of Clinical Research for Gynecologic Oncology at WVU.

Medical Specialties: Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gynecologic Oncology.

Clinical Focus: Gynecologic cancer and malignancies, robotic surgery, surgical debulking, chemotherapy, minimally invasive surgery, health disparities, cervical cancer prevention, and early detection and treatment in sub-Saharan Africa.

Roberta Renzelli-Cain, DO, MHS, FACOG, NCMP, IF, Assistant Professor

Dr. Renzelli-Cain is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and received her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the University of New England, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Portland, Maine and her Master of Health Sciences from Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut. She completed her Obstetric and Gynecology residency training at West Virginia University School of Medicine. She is a Fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Fellow of the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH) and a North American Menopause Society Certified Menopause Physician. She is an active member of International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease(ISSVD) and on a national level, Dr. Renzelli-Cain serves as a core member of the ISSWSH Pelvic Pain and Deep Dyspareunia Subcommittee.

Medical Specialties: Obstetrics and Gynecology; Sexual Medicine

Clinical Focus: Integrative Gynecology; Management of Chronic Pelvic and Vulvar Pain in Adults/Adolescents; Endometriosis; Pelvic Floor Dysfunction; Disorders of Sexual Function; Diseases of the Vulva and Vagina; Vulvoscopy; Menopause; Mona Lisa Touch LASER; Hormone Replacement Therapy.

Robert Shapiro, MD, Associate Professor and Adjunct Professor of Urology

Dr. Shapiro earned his Doctor of Medicine degree and completed his residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at West Virginia University. He is a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) and the American Urogynecologic Society (AUGS). Dr. Shapiro is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Female Pelvic Medicine/Reconstructive Surgery.

Medical Specialties: Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Urogynecology.

Clinical Focus: Hysterectomy, robotic surgery, and urinary incontinence.

Shon Rowan, MD, Associate Professor

Dr. Rowan received his Doctor of Medicine and completed his residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at West Virginia University. He is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and practices at the WVU Center for Reproductive Medicine.             

Medical Specialties: Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Reproductive Medicine, Reproductive Endocrinology, Surgery, and Pediatric Gynecology.

Clinical Focus: Clinically active in reproductive medicine including infertility and in vitro fertilization. Research interests include polycystic ovarian syndrome and infertility-based studies.

Megan Varvoutis, MD, Assistant Professor

Dr. Varvoutis received her Doctor of Medicine degree from East Tennessee State University. She completed her residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Memorial Health University Medical Center and a fellowship at the Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Varvoutis is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Medical Specialties: Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

Clinical Focus: High risk obstetrics, high risk pregnancy, medical complications during pregnancy, and obstetrical complications.

Resident Research Day / Annual Palladino Lecture

Every year we have Annual Resident Research Day, where our residents present the findings of their research projects. The presentations are evaluated by a panel of judges. We also invite an eminent physician scientist who acts as Guest Lecturer for the event and gives the Annual Palladino lecture. The names of the Guest Lecturer for the last five years include:

  • 2016. Loretta P. Finnegan, MD, LLD
  • 2017. Haywood Brown, MD
  • 2018. Daniel Clarke-Pearson, MD
  • 2019. Philip Samuels, MD
  • 2020. Rescheduled
  • 2021. Halina Zyczynski, MD

See Current Program Year Brochure

For more information regarding current research projects or assistance with a research project, please contact our Research and Grants Analyst:

A photo of Todd Walters.
Todd Walters
West Virginia University
Position
Research and Grants Analyst, Obstetrics & Gynecology
Phone
304-293-1557