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

Effect of antenatal corticosteroids on respiratory morbidity in singletons after late-preterm birth.
Gyamfi-Bannerman C, Gilbert S, Landon MB, Spong CY, Rouse DJ, Varner MW, Meis PJ, Wapner RJ, Sorokin Y, Carpenter M, Peaceman AM, O'Sullivan MJ, Sibai BM, Thorp JM, Ramin SM, Mercer BM Obstet Gynecol 2012 Mar 119 3 555-9
Add stillbirth to the list of outcomes to worry about in a pregnant woman with a history of preterm birth or fetal growth restriction.
Spong CY Obstet Gynecol 2012 Mar 119 3 495-7
What is new in maternal-fetal medicine?: best articles from the past year.
Spong CY Obstet Gynecol 2012 Jan 119 1 168-70
To VBAC or not to VBAC.
Spong CY PLoS Med. 2012 9 3 e1001191
Prenatal treatment prevents learning deficit in Down syndrome model.
Incerti M, Horowitz K, Roberson R, Abebe D, Toso L, Caballero M, Spong CY PLoS ONE 2012 7 11 e50724
Antithyroid antibodies and parity: further evidence for microchimerism in autoimmune thyroid disease.
Greer LG, Casey BM, Halvorson LM, Spong CY, McIntire DD, Cunningham FG Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 2011 Nov 205 5 471.e1-4
Clinical research enrolling pregnant women: a workshop summary.
Foulkes MA, Grady C, Spong CY, Bates A, Clayton JA J Womens Health (Larchmt) 2011 Oct 20 10 1429-32
Introduction.
Mercer BM, Spong CY Semin. Perinatol. 2011 Oct 35 5 245
Influenza-like illness in hospitalized pregnant and postpartum women during the 2009-2010 H1N1 pandemic.
Varner MW, Rice MM, Anderson B, Tolosa JE, Sheffield J, Spong CY, Saade G, Peaceman AM, Louis JM, Wapner RJ, Tita AT, Sorokin Y, Blackwell SC, Prasad M, Thorp JM, Naresh A, Van Dorsten JP Obstet Gynecol 2011 Sep 118 3 593-600
Addressing the complexity of disparities in stillbirths.
Spong CY, Reddy UM, Willinger M Lancet 2011 May 377 9778 1635-6

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)