THE HORMONAL CONTROL OF BIRTH                                   
Our research explores the hormonal interactions that control the process and timing of human birth.

In 10-20% of  pregnancies labor starts before term (37-40 completed weeks of gestation) and in most cases leads to preterm birth - the major cause of neonatal mortality and morbidity.  Ultimately we seek to develop therapies to prevent preterm birth. 

THE ENGINE FOR BIRTH:  Our studies focus on the uterine muscle, the myometrium.  For labor to occur the myometrium transitions to a highly excitable state and contracts forcefully and rhythmically (i.e., the contractions of labor) to eventually expel fetus.  Our research examines the hormonal mechanisms that control the contractile state of the myometrium.

PROGESTERONE:  The steroid hormone progesterone is essential for the maintenance of pregnancy and does so mainly by promoting uterine quiescence and blocking labor.  Normal labor is triggered by a physiologically regulated progesterone withdrawal.  A major focus of our research is to determine how progesterone promotes myometrial cell relaxation for most of pregnancy and how that process is controlled at parturition.  Through this understanding we hope to develop effective progestin-based therapies to suppress preterm labor and prevent preterm birth.


Sam Mesiano, Ph.D.
Department of Reproductive Biology
Case Western Reserve University
MacDonald Women's Hospital
11100 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland OHIO 44106-5034

Office: Mac 8129 (216) 844-1553
Cell: (216) 288-8015
Deliveries: Mac 8009


LABORATORY:  Located in the Dept. of Reproductive Biology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA which is affiliated with, and located within, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, in the MacDonald Women's Hospital, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio