Biography

Catherine Y. Spong, M.D., is a Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She also serves as Chief of the Department's 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

Research on vaccines during pregnancy: reference values for vital signs and laboratory assessments.
Sheffield JS, Munoz FM, Beigi RH, Rasmussen SA, Edwards KM, Read JS, Heine RP, Ault KA, Swamy GK, Jevaji I, Spong CY, Fortner KB, Patel SM, Nesin M Vaccine 2013 Sep 31 40 4264-73
Can changes in angiogenic biomarkers between the first and second trimesters of pregnancy predict development of pre-eclampsia in a low-risk nulliparous patient population?
Myatt L, Clifton RG, Roberts JM, Spong CY, Wapner RJ, Thorp JM, Mercer BM, Peaceman AM, Ramin SM, Carpenter MW, Sciscione A, Tolosa JE, Saade G, Sorokin Y, Anderson GD BJOG 2013 Sep 120 10 1183-91
Disparities in obstetrical outcomes in ART pregnancies compared with natural conceptions.
Plowden TC, Novak CM, Spong CY Semin. Reprod. Med. 2013 Sep 31 5 340-6
Customized versus population approach for evaluation of fetal overgrowth.
Costantine MM, Mele L, Landon MB, Spong CY, Ramin SM, Casey B, Wapner RJ, Varner MW, Rouse DJ, Thorp JM, Sciscione A, Catalano P, Caritis SN, Sorokin Y, Peaceman AM, Tolosa JE, Anderson GD Am J Perinatol 2013 Aug 30 7 565-72
Maternal 25-hydroxyvitamin d and preterm birth in twin gestations.
Bodnar LM, Rouse DJ, Momirova V, Peaceman AM, Sciscione A, Spong CY, Varner MW, Malone FD, Iams JD, Mercer BM, Thorp JM, Sorokin Y, Carpenter MW, Lo J, Ramin SM, Harper M Obstet Gynecol 2013 Jul 122 1 91-8
Defining "term" pregnancy: recommendations from the Defining "Term" Pregnancy Workgroup.
Spong CY JAMA 2013 Jun 309 23 2445-6
Putting the "M" back in maternal-fetal medicine.
D'Alton ME, Bonanno CA, Berkowitz RL, Brown HL, Copel JA, Cunningham FG, Garite TJ, Gilstrap LC, Grobman WA, Hankins GD, Hauth JC, Iriye BK, Macones GA, Martin JN, Martin SR, Menard MK, O'Keefe DF, Pacheco LD, Riley LE, Saade GR, Spong CY Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 2013 Jun 208 6 442-8
Relationship between 1-hour glucose challenge test results and perinatal outcomes.
Figueroa D, Landon MB, Mele L, Spong CY, Ramin SM, Casey B, Wapner RJ, Varner MW, Thorp JM, Sciscione A, Catalano P, Harper M, Saade G, Caritis SN, Sorokin Y, Peaceman AM, Tolosa JE Obstet Gynecol 2013 Jun 121 6 1241-7
Activity restriction among women with a short cervix.
Grobman WA, Gilbert SA, Iams JD, Spong CY, Saade G, Mercer BM, Tita AT, Rouse DJ, Sorokin Y, Leveno KJ, Tolosa JE, Thorp JM, Caritis SN, Van Dorsten JP Obstet Gynecol 2013 Jun 121 6 1181-6
Placental villous hypermaturation is associated with idiopathic preterm birth.
Morgan TK, Tolosa JE, Mele L, Wapner RJ, Spong CY, Sorokin Y, Dudley DJ, Peaceman AM, Mercer BM, Thorp JM, O'Sullivan MJ, Ramin SM, Rouse DJ, Sibai B J. Matern. Fetal. Neonatal. Med. 2013 May 26 7 647-53

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)