Name: Mary Regan
Institutional Affiliation: University of Maryland
Contact Phone: 410-706-1175
Mailing Address: School of Nursing Office # 475B 655 W Lombard Street, Baltimore Maryland 21201
Research Focus: Microbiome and women's health
Grants Funded: Sexually Transmitted Infection Network Groups (STING) U19-AI084044 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Regan, Investigator (Clinical Core co-Director) Influence of Modifiable Factors on the Vaginal Microbiota and Preterm Birth R01NR014826-01 National Institute of Nursing Research A Study of the Factors influencing Women’s Decisions about Childbirth R21 HD059074-01A1 National Institute of Child Health & Development
Research Summary: The focus of my research is the influence of the vaginal and gastrointestinal microbiota and their relationship to women's health outcomes particularly during pregnancy. In past studies I have focused on the interaction between diet and the vaginal microbiota to determine if it could lead to dysbiotic microbial communities that promote the initiation of pro-inflammatory signaling and reduced redox capacity (causing oxidative stress) that initiates PTB. PTB is likely a complex interaction between the vaginal and gut ecosystems both at the local and systemic levels that can never be satisfactorily explained by a single factor. This notion is at the root of ongoing research I am currently doing in collaboration with Wendy Henderson at the NINR that that leverages the infrastructure of our previous R01 by expanding the scope of inquiry to include the interaction between diet and the composition of GI microbiota. In that study we propose that factors in the diet moderate the composition and function of the GI MB that in turn influences the incidence of PTB moderated through two key mechanisms; 1) diet directly influences the composition and diversity of the taxa within GI MB, and 2) the GI MB effect oxidative stress and altered redox capacity. I have a very strong clinical background in perinatal nursing, with specific training and expertise in bio informatics that I have found very useful to conduct research. I was trained as a certified nurse midwife in the United Kingdom and spent over 19 years as a perinatal nurse specialist where I gained considerable expertise in pregnancy related health issues including PTB. As a National Library of Medicine postdoctoral fellow, I focused on bio-informatics. I was also the the PI on several State-funded grants and received NIH funding for a grant focused on women’s decision making about birth (R21 HD059074-01A1). In the capacity of PI I have successfully administered research projects including data collection, analysis, hiring and training, staffing, human subjects protection, and managing the budget. The findings from our studies presented nationally and internationally. For the R01 we recruited from a high risk birthing population in Baltimore and developed a strong infrastructure for participant recruitment and data collection. My previous research experiences taught me the importance of collaboration among project members and the need for clear communication and direction.
Mentorship Interest: Junior faculty conducting translational research on outcomes related to childbirth and/or women's health who are interested in integrating omics into their studies