Calvin Hobel, MD

Physician, Maternal-Fetal
Phone:(310) 423-3365
Fax:(310) 423-0140

Academic Appointments

Professor, OBGYN
Professor, Pediatrics

Awards and Activities

Miriam Jacobs Chair in Maternal-Fetal Medicine1984
President, Preterm Birth International Collaborative2001
March of Dimes Scientific Advisory Committee2004
Development and Reproductive Toxicant (DART) Committee appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger2005
Surgeon General Committee on Preterm Birth Prevention2008

Research Focus

Current research focus is on the role of maternal behaviors, the environment and the genetic risk of both preterm birth and poor fetal growth. The research laboratory is studying the role of stress hormones on the risk of preterm birth and the search for resilience factors that may decrease the risk of preterm birth. More recently the research group is assessing Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy and its role in infection as a cause of preterm birth and also its role in insulin resistance in diabetic pregnancies.

Research Contributions

Major contributions have been made in the area of maternal-fetal, neonatal physiology and endocrinology. Clinical and basic research has led to the recognition that maternal stress, both physical and psychological stress, increases the risk for preterm birth and intra uterine growth restriction. Because of this research "Maternal Stess" has become one of the four major pathways for preterm birth. The association of stress with poor fetal growth supports the concept of fetal programming for the sequent risk for adult diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and stroke now referred to as the "life course perspective" for the developing adult diseases.

Current investigations include:

Co-PI for National Children's Study to assess obstetrical events on child outcome; NIH Community Child Health Network to study community participatory research (CPR) on disparities in birth outcome; NIH Gene-Environment Interactions in Human Parturition, to identify the genetics of stress as a cause of preterm birth.

Selected Publications

  1. Hobel CJ, Dunkel-Schetter C, Roesch SC, Castro LC, Arora CP: Maternal plasma corticotropin-releasing hormone associated with stress at 20 weeks' gestation in pregnancies ending in preterm delivery. Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol., 180(1 Pt 3): S257-63, 1999
  2. Hobel CJ, Arora CP, Korst LM: Corticotrophin-releasing hormone and CRH-binding protein. Differences between patients at risk for preterm birth and hypertension. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci., 897: 54-65, 1999
  3. Sandman CA, Glynn L, Schetter CD, Wadhwa P, Garite T, Chicz-DeMet A, Hobel C: Elevated maternal cortisol early in pregnancy predicts third trimester levels of placental corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH): priming the placental clock. Peptides, 27(6): 1457-63, 2005
  4. Glynn LM, Davis EP, Schetter CD, Chicz-Demet A, Hobel CJ, Sandman CA: Postnatal maternal cortisol levels predict temperament in healthy breastfed infants. Early Hum. Dev., 83(10): 675-81, 2007
  5. Misra VK, Hobel CJ, Sing CF: Ethnic heterogeneity in the longitudinal effects of placental vascular blood flow on birthweight. Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol., 198(1): 72.e1-8, 2007
  6. Hobel CJ, Goldstein A, Barrett ES: Psychosocial stress and pregnancy outcome. Clinical obstetrics and gynecology, 51(2): 333-48, 2008
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