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Midlife Care Expert, Investigator in HRT Trials Named OB-GYN Chair

Vanessa Barnabei

Vanessa Barnabei, MD, PhD

Published July 23, 2012

Vanessa M. Barnabei, MD, PhD, an expert on the effects of hormone replacement therapy in postmenopause, has been named chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Over the past 23 years, Barnabei has served as an investigator on landmark clinical trials that have profoundly affected the counseling and management of midlife women.

Barnabei is currently the Margaret McMahon Endowed Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Medical College of Wisconsin and director of the Division of General Obstetrics and Gynecology.

When she joins UB Oct. 1, she will also serve as medical director of women’s health services at Kaleida Health.

Long-Term Interests Include Reproductive Genetics

An accomplished physician, clinical investigator and educator, Barnabei is a certified menopause clinician whose long-term interests lie in the fields of reproductive genetics and women’s health.

Over the past 23 years she has been an investigator on landmark clinical trials that have profoundly affected the counseling and management of midlife women, including the Women’s Health Initiative, the Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study (HERS) and the Postmenopausal Estrogen/Progestin Interventions trial (PEPI).

Barnabei’s research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences and industry.

Her early research focused on the genetics of the X chromosome as well as perinatal genetics.

Joined GWU’s Faculty after Training at Northwestern

Barnabei has held leadership positions at George Washington University and the Medical College of Wisconsin in areas of women’s health and menopause.

From 1989 until her appointment in Wisconsin in 1998, she was on the faculty of GWU’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She also served as director of the cytogenetics laboratory at the university’s Wilson Reproductive Center.

Barnabei completed her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Medical Center. She received her PhD in biology and her MD from the University of Virginia.

Leader in Women’s Health Issues

Certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Barnabei provides obstetrical care in the low-risk setting and manages the gynecological care of women of all ages.

In addition to midlife care, her expertise includes vulvar disorders.

She holds leadership positions in the North American Menopause Society and the Central Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

In recent years, she has been involved in hospital and community activities aimed at lowering the mortality rate of inner-city African-American infants.

Eighth New Chair Recruited by Cain

Barnabei is the eighth new chair that Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences and dean, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, has recruited in the past four years. These national hires form a critical piece of his strategic vision for the medical school.

Under Barnabei, the department will enhance the excellence of its graduate medical education and mentored research training programs, Cain says. She will help develop and align a comprehensive clinical program at Great Lakes Health System, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and in the community.

Barnabei succeeds Armondo Arroyo, MD, interim chair.