Katherine E. Hartmann, M.D., Ph.D.
Vice President for Research Integration
Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Scientist Development
Deputy Director, Institute for Medicine & Public Health
Lucius E. Burch Chair of Reproductive Physiology and Family Planning
Overview of Interests
Hallmarks of Dr. Hartmann's career include conduct of rigorous research that unfailingly focuses on answers that matter to women and their care providers. She is a rare OB/GYN who is also a PhD epidemiologist which has led to additional roles in wider policy-relevant areas including health services, health outcomes, cost analysis, and informed medical decision-making. The majority of her research pivots on Right from the Start, a multi-ethnic pregnancy cohort with more than 6,900 women from seven metropolitan areas recruited before pregnancy or in the first trimester.
Right from the Start has contributed substantial novel findings about early pregnancy health, causes of miscarriage and risk for other adverse pregnancy outcomes including preterm birth and fetal growth restriction. The research team of RFTS includes investigators from three universities and NIEHS. We have been first to: a) document prevalence of uterine fibroids in pregnancy, b) report a sizeable protective effect of multivitamin use around the time of conception against miscarriage; c) describe racial disparities in adverse pregnancy outcomes begin as early as differential risk of miscarriage, d) report fibroids are not a cause of miscarriage or preterm birth, d) advance methods to more accurately take into account arrest of embryologic development for time-to-event analyses, and document intendedness of pregnancy does not substantively modify alcohol use in early pregnancy.
Alongside conducting her own research, she remains a role model for making research actionable. She has served on and provided data to state legislators and advocacy groups, led preparation of multiple Women's Health Reports Cards for both North Carolina and Tennessee, led a statewide smoking cessation demonstration project, advised many federal, state, and professional groups, written numerous pivotal publications that have influenced care, and worked quietly behind the scenes to provide factual information to inform academic training, promote effective mentorship, refine research infrastructure, and guide healthcare policy.