Catherine Spong, M.D.
Professor & Chair
Endowed Title Paul C. MacDonald Distinguished Chair in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Department Obstetrics and Gynecology
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Catherine Y. Spong, M.D., is Professor and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
She previously served as Vice Chair for the Department and Chief of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Dr. Spong specializes in prematurity, fetal complications, and improving outcomes in children. Her clinical responsibilities are in the Parkland Health and Hospital System.
Dr. Spong received her medical degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) in 1991. After serving as Chief Resident in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, she began her career at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) as a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellow, which also included clinical work at Georgetown University. Then, she became a Clinical Associate and Senior Staff Fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the NICHD's intramural research program. There, she directed a lab, the Unit on Perinatal and Developmental Neurobiology, that focused on neuroprotective peptides and fetal development utilizing models of fetal alcohol syndrome and Down syndrome. In 2000, she joined NICHD's extramural program.
Over a career that spanned 23 years, Dr. Spong served in many capacities at NIH, including as NICHD's Deputy Director, Acting Director, Associate Director for Extramural Research and Director of the Division of Extramural Research, and Chief of the Pregnancy and Perinatology Branch. She was the Chair of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Federal Task Force on Research Specific to Pregnant Women and Lactating Women. In 2018, she joined the faculty at UT Southwestern as Chief of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
We must recognize that inclusion is better than absence of data on treatment.”
Among Dr. Spong's areas of expertise are maternal and child health, emphasizing prematurity, fetal complications, and improving child outcomes. One of her major research interests has been the developing fetus. She holds several patents for neuroprotective agents that help prevent fetal injury. Other research interests include improving the understanding of stillbirth, fetal surgery for myelomeningocele, zika in pregnancy, and the human placenta. During her tenure at NICHD, she launched the Human Placenta Project. She is a passionate advocate for inclusion in research for under represented groups.
Dr. Spong is board-certified in maternal-fetal medicine and obstetrics and gynecology. She is an Editor of William's Obstetrics, Management of High Risk Pregnancy, Protocols for High-Risk Pregnancies, and Stillbirth: Prediction, Prevention and Management. She has received numerous research awards, including the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine Achievement Award, the UMKC Alumnus of the Year Award, several NIH director's Awards, and a Surgeon General's Certificate of Appreciation for work on prematurity. She has published more than 270 peer-reviewed papers and been featured on national television and radio, including The CBS Early Show, the Diane Rehm Show, NPR's All Things Considered, CNN, and Voice of America, where she discussed women's health and pregnancy topics.
- Medical School
- University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine (1991)
- Harbor UCLA Medical Center (1995), Obstetrics & Gynecology
- MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (1998), Maternal Fetal Medicine
- Improving child outcomes
- Inclusion of under represented groups in evidence-based research
- "Is It Safe?" - The Many Unanswered Questions about Medications and Breast-Feeding.
- Byrne JJ, Spong CY, N. Engl. J. Med. 2019 Apr 380 14 1296-1297
- The human placenta project: it's time for real time.
- Guttmacher AE, Spong CY Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 2015 Oct 213 4 Suppl S3-5
- The Human Placenta Project: placental structure, development, and function in real time.
- Guttmacher AE, Maddox YT, Spong CY Placenta 2014 May 35 5 303-4
- The conception of the ABCD study: From substance use to a broad NIH collaboration.
- Volkow ND, Koob GF, Croyle RT, Bianchi DW, Gordon JA, Koroshetz WJ, Pérez-Stable EJ, Riley WT, Bloch MH, Conway K, Deeds BG, Dowling GJ, Grant S, Howlett KD, Matochik JA, Morgan GD, Murray MM, Noronha A, Spong CY, Wargo EM, Warren KR, Weiss SRB Dev Cogn Neurosci 2018 Aug 32 4-7
- Research on Underrepresented Populations-Reply.
- Spong CY, Bianchi DW JAMA 2018 05 319 19 2045
- Zika virus: a public health perspective.
- Chakhtoura N, Hazra R, Spong CY Curr. Opin. Obstet. Gynecol. 2018 Apr 30 2 116-122
- Association of National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Career Development Awards With Subsequent Research Project Grant Funding.
- Twombly DA, Glavin SL, Guimond J, Taymans S, Spong CY, Bianchi DW JAMA Pediatr 2018 Mar 172 3 226-231
- Improving Public Health Requires Inclusion of Underrepresented Populations in Research.
- Spong CY, Bianchi DW JAMA 2018 Jan 319 4 337-338
- Bridging Knowledge Gaps to Understand How Zika Virus Exposure and Infection Affect Child Development.
- Kapogiannis BG, Chakhtoura N, Hazra R, Spong CY JAMA Pediatr 2017 May 171 5 478-485
- National Institutes of Health Research Plan on Rehabilitation: NIH Medical Rehabilitation Coordinating Committee.
- O'Mara A, Rowland JH, Greenwell TN, Wiggs CL, Fleg J, Joseph L, McGowan J, Panagis JS, Washabaugh C, Peng GCY, Bray R, Cernich AN, Cruz TH, Marden S, Michel ME, Nitkin R, Quatrano L, Spong CY, Shekim L, Jones TLZ, Juliano-Bult D, Panchinson DM, Chen D, Jakeman L, Knebel A, Tully LA, Chan L, Damiano D, Tian B, McInnes P, Khalsa P, Reider E, Shurtleff D, Elwood W, Ballard R, Ershow AG, Begg L Phys Ther 2017 Apr 97 4 104-407
Williams Obstetrics, 25th edition
Cunningham FG, Leveno KJ, Bloom SL, Dashe JS, Hoffman BL, Casey BM, Spong CY (Ed.) (2018). New York, McGraw Hill
Williams Obstetrics, 23rd ediition
Cunningham FG, Leveno KJ, Bloom SL, Hauth JC, Rouse DJ, Spong CY (Ed.) (2010). New York, McGraw Hill
Williams Obstetrics, 24th edition
Cunningham FG, Leveno KJ, Bloom SL, Spong CY, Dashe JS, Hoffman BL, Casey BM, Sheffield JS (Ed.) (2014). New York, McGraw Hill
Protocols for Hight-Risk Pregnancies, 6th edition
Queenan JT, Spong CY, Lockwood CJ (Ed.) (2015). West Sussex, UK, Wiley-Blackwell
Protocols for High-Risk Pregnancies, 5th edition
Queenan JT, Hobbins JC, Spong, CY (Ed.) (2010). West Sussex, UK, Wiley-Blackwell
Queenan's Management of High-Risk Pregnancy, 6th edition
Queenan JT, Spong CY, Lockwood CJ (Ed.) (2012). West Sussex, UK, Wiley-Blackwell
Management of High-Risk Pregnancy
Queenan JT, Spong CY, Lockwood CJ (Ed.) (2007). Oxford, England, Blackwell
Stillbirth: Prediction, Prevention and Management, 1st edition
Spong CY (Ed.) (2011). West Sussex, UK, Wiley-Blackwell
- Bellevue Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (2013)
- American Gynecologic and Obstetric Society (2005)
- Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine (2002)
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) (2001)
- Perinatal Research Society (2001)
- Society for Gynecologic Investigation (1998)
- Society for Neuroscience (1997)
- American Medical Association (1987)