Biography

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.

Education

Medical School
University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine (1991)
Residency
Harbor UCLA Medical Center (1995), Obstetrics & Gynecology
Fellowship
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (1998), Maternal Fetal Medicine

Research Interest

  • Improving child outcomes
  • Inclusion of under represented groups in evidence-based research

Publications

Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Neuroprotective peptides influence cytokine and chemokine alterations in a model of fetal alcohol syndrome.
Roberson R, Kuddo T, Benassou I, Abebe D, Spong CY Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 2012 Dec 207 6 499.e1-5
Risk of uterine rupture and placenta accreta with prior uterine surgery outside of the lower segment.
Gyamfi-Bannerman C, Gilbert S, Landon MB, Spong CY, Rouse DJ, Varner MW, Caritis SN, Meis PJ, Wapner RJ, Sorokin Y, Carpenter M, Peaceman AM, O'Sullivan MJ, Sibai BM, Thorp JM, Ramin SM, Mercer BM Obstet Gynecol 2012 Dec 120 6 1332-7
Obesity, pregnancy complications, and birth outcomes.
Marshall NE, Spong CY Semin. Reprod. Med. 2012 Dec 30 6 465-71
17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate to prevent prematurity in nulliparas with cervical length less than 30 mm.
Grobman WA, Thom EA, Spong CY, Iams JD, Saade GR, Mercer BM, Tita AT, Rouse DJ, Sorokin Y, Wapner RJ, Leveno KJ, Blackwell S, Esplin MS, Tolosa JE, Thorp JM, Caritis SN, Van Dorsten JP Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 2012 Nov 207 5 390.e1-8
Relationship between 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate concentrations and gestational age at delivery in twin gestation.
Caritis SN, Simhan HN, Zhao Y, Rouse DJ, Peaceman AM, Sciscione A, Spong CY, Varner MW, Malone FD, Iams JD, Mercer BM, Thorp JM, Sorokin Y, Carpenter M, Lo J, Ramin SM, Harper M Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 2012 Nov 207 5 396.e1-8
Preventing the first cesarean delivery: summary of a joint Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Workshop.
Spong CY, Berghella V, Wenstrom KD, Mercer BM, Saade GR Obstet Gynecol 2012 Nov 120 5 1181-93
Perinatal outcomes in Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women with mild gestational diabetes.
Berggren EK, Mele L, Landon MB, Spong CY, Ramin SM, Casey B, Wapner RJ, Varner MW, Rouse DJ, Sciscione A, Catalano P, Harper M, Saade G, Caritis SN, Sorokin Y, Peaceman AM, Tolosa JE Obstet Gynecol 2012 Nov 120 5 1099-104
Cytokine and chemokine alterations in Down syndrome.
Roberson R, Kuddo T, Horowitz K, Caballero M, Spong CY Am J Perinatol 2012 Oct 29 9 705-8
Relationship between fetal station and successful vaginal delivery in nulliparous women.
Segel SY, Carreño CA, Weiner SJ, Bloom SL, Spong CY, Varner MW, Rouse DJ, Caritis SN, Grobman WA, Sorokin Y, Sciscione A, Mercer BM, Thorp JM, Malone FD, Harper M, Iams JD Am J Perinatol 2012 Oct 29 9 723-30
The utility of uterine artery Doppler velocimetry in prediction of preeclampsia in a low-risk population.
Myatt L, Clifton RG, Roberts JM, Spong CY, Hauth JC, Varner MW, Wapner RJ, Thorp JM, Mercer BM, Grobman WA, Ramin SM, Carpenter MW, Samuels P, Sciscione A, Harper M, Tolosa JE, Saade G, Sorokin Y, Anderson GD Obstet Gynecol 2012 Oct 120 4 815-22

Books

Featured Books Legend Featured Books

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

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • 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)