Division of Maternal–Fetal Medicine | NYU Long Island School of Medicine | NYU Langone Health

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Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology Divisions Division of Maternal–Fetal Medicine

Division of Maternal–Fetal Medicine

Specialists in the Division of Maternal–Fetal Medicine care for people experiencing high-risk and complicated pregnancies. These complications can be maternal, fetal, or both. Our mission is to identify conditions during pregnancy that affect the health of mothers and their babies so we can provide comprehensive treatment and optimize outcomes.

Led by division chief Martin Chavez, MD, our faculty are leaders in the field and are board-certified in maternal–fetal medicine with expertise in diabetes care and education, obstetric ultrasound, and clinical informatics. Our team is also focused on patient safety and have elite qualifications as safety officers, including as quality physician lead for the Regional Perinatal Center of New York State.

In line with our mission, our team provides comprehensive educational programs to ensure that the next generation of maternal–fetal medicine specialists are well prepared to become leaders and advance the field. Our basic, translational, and clinical research programs provide faculty and trainees with opportunities to continually learn and apply new knowledge to their practice.

Maternal–Fetal Medicine Education

Trainees at NYU Long Island School of Medicine who are focusing on maternal–fetal medicine work closely with our renowned faculty and have access to state-of-the-art technologies. Medical students, residents, and fellows train at clinical sites including NYU Langone’s Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment Program, the only fetal surgery program on Long Island, and NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island’s New Life Center, where more than 5,000 babies are born each year.

Medical students in their clerkship year complete a six-week rotation in obstetrics and gynecology, led by maternal–fetal medicine clerkship director Nadia B. Kunzier, DO. During the rotation, students learn the complexities of managing medical and surgical issues during pregnancy for both the mother and baby.

Our faculty are committed mentors to trainees in our Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency. Our residents have access to and participate in the care and management of maternal–fetal medicine patients starting from pre-pregnancy, during the entire pregnancy, and after delivery.

For physicians who seek additional subspecialty training, our Maternal–Fetal Medicine Fellowship provides training in clinical practice, research, and public health, and teaches fellows the skills they need to excel in the challenging environment of academic medicine. Fellows also gain hands-on experience in diagnostic invasive procedures as well as complex in utero fetal procedures. Fellows learn to act as consultants to general obstetricians, as well as to participate in the regionalization of perinatal services, ensuring the full range of services is available to support maternal and fetal health. At the end of training, our fellows are well prepared to obtain American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology certification in maternal–fetal medicine.

Maternal–Fetal Medicine Research

Our division has a wealth of opportunity for faculty and trainees to participate in research. Our interests include the clinical aspects of complicated pregnancies as well as fetal complications. We also have an interest in diabetes, hypertension, and telemedicine.

At the Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment Program, we develop new procedures, an advancement that has been published in obstetric journals. Our team also identified a new index for obstetrics safety and quality of care by integrating cesarean delivery rates with maternal and neonatal outcomes (Ramani et al., 2021, Am J Obstet Gynecol).

In addition, division research has advanced the field’s knowledge of cervical elastography as a means to predict preterm birth (Patburg et al., 2021, Am J Obstet Gynecol), fetal heart rate pattern analysis to time intrapartum management (Vintzileos et al., 2021, J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med), and factors associated with delayed treatment of obstetric hypertensive emergencies (Kantorowska et al., 2020, Am J Obstet Gynecol).

We are also active in COVID-19 research as it affects maternal–fetal medicine, and have investigated the efficacy of telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic (Tozour et al., 2021, Am J Obstet Gynecol MFM) and the link between COVID-19 infection and placental histopathology (Patburg et al., 2020, Am J Obstet Gynecol). Our experts use electron microscopy to visualize the SARS-CoV-2 virus invading the human placenta, and were the first to demonstrate direct evidence of SARS-CoV-2 invasion in placental tissue and placental infection associated with SARS-CoV-2 (Algarroba et al., 2020, Am J Obstet Gynecol).

Our investigators frequently publish in peer-reviewed journals with high impact factors, and present at local, national, and international scientific conferences.

Clinical Trials

Division researchers are continually exploring new ways to keep mothers and babies healthy. Our current clinical trials include studies to determine whether the respiratory syncytial versus (RSV) prefusion F vaccine prevents the development of RSV illness in unborn babies.

Our researchers are also exploring whether certain biomarkers in pregnant women presenting with symptoms of preterm labor can predict progression to actual preterm delivery.

Maternal–Fetal Medicine Clinical Services

In our Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment Program, we perform procedures in utero that allow fetuses to continue developing in a safe uterine environment. These procedures include fetal transfusions, fetal shunt placement, intra-fetal laser ablation or radiofrequency ablation for discordant anomalies in multiples, and fetal surgery with laser ablation for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.

Our maternal–fetal medicine team works with multiple specialists during and after pregnancy as needed to improve outcomes for both mother and baby. We have a unique service, the Maternal–Fetal Navigator program, which allows mothers to meet any specialist involved in the care of the baby after they are born. This allows the parents to focus on being parents, and our experts to provide the best care possible.

We provide care at the following sites across Long Island:

Maternal–Fetal Medicine Faculty

Tracy Adams, DO
Martin Chavez, MD
Hye J. Heo, MD
Wendy L. Kinzler, MD
Nadia B. Kunzier, DO
Lakha Prasannan, MD
Patricia Rekawek, MD
Genevieve B. Sicuranza, MD
Anju Suhag, MD
Sevan A. Vahanian, MD
Anthony M. Vintzileos, MD

Contact Us

For more information about the Division of Maternal–Fetal Medicine, email Dr. Chavez, division chief, at martin.chavez@nyulangone.org.