Our Team

WRHR Primary Director/PI

Dee Fenner, M.D. - Chair and Bates Professor of Diseases of Women and Children, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Prior to becoming the Chair of the OBGYN Department, she was the Furlong Professor of Women’s Health, Chief Clinical Officer of University Hospital / Frankel Cardiovascular Center and the Director of the Division of Gynecology. She holds a joint appointment as Professor of Urology. Dr. Fenner’s clinical interests are female pelvic floor dysfunction and medical education. She is nationally recognized as an expert in defecation disorders, surgical education, and reconstructive surgery. Her major contributions have been on understanding how birth injuries impact pelvic floor disorders and developing new and novel treatments for accidental bowel leakage.

WRHR Research Director

Yolanda R. Smith, M.D., M.S. - Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her research interests focus on the field of neuroendocrinology, specifically studying the effects of postmenopausal hormone therapies on brain processing, cognition and mood, as well the effects of hormones on the experience of pain in women.

Faculty Mentors

James Ashton-Miller, Ph.D. – Professor in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Internal Medicine and Senior Research Scientist in the Institute of Gerontology.  His research is in the areas of biomechanics, functional anatomy, and aging of the female pelvic floor structures, computer simulation approaches and instrumentation design and development.

Charles Burant, M.D., Ph.D. - Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine – Endocrinology and Molecular and Integrative Physiology. His lab is interested in identifying the ways in which nutrients, drugs and biologics affect insulin sensitivity and how they lead to Type II Diabetes.

Sally Camper, Ph.D. – Professor in the Departments of Human Genetics and Internal Medicine.  Her research deals primarily with the development and function of the neuroendocrine and sensory systems including the pituitary gland and the auditory and vestibular systems.

Ronald Chervin, M.D. - Professor in the Department of Neurology and Director of the Sleep Disorder Center.  His research focuses on sleep-disordered breathing in the context of other health challenges, including pregnancy and its complications.

Dan Clauw, M.D. -  Director of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center.  His research is primarily in pursuit of identifying the physiologic mechanisms responsible for three prominent symptoms (pain, fatigue, and memory difficulties) of chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia [FM], low back pain, and interstitial cystitis.

John O. L. DeLancey, M.D. - Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Director of the Pelvic Floor Research Group. His program focuses on working to improve the understanding and treatment of pelvic floor disorders.

Sue Hammoud, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor in Human Genetics. The focus of her developmental biology program is to define molecules inherited from the sperm genome, beyond the DNA sequence, that faithfully transmit epigenetic memory to the zygote.

Erica Marsh, M.D., M.SCI., F.A.C.O.G. - Associate Professor and Chief of the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.  The goal of her research program is to understand the factors that contribute to health disparities in fibroids.  Dr. Marsh’s research projects range from fibroid pathophysiology to the clinical and public health impact of these tumors.  

William J. McCune, M.D. – Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine – Rheumatology.  Dr. McCune’s research includes studies on the epidemiology, cardiovascular impact, treatment responses, and ovarian effects of systemic lupus.

Suzanne Moenter, Ph.D. – Professor in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology. Dr. Moenter’s laboratory investigates the neuroendocrine regulation of reproduction utilizing physiological animal models, electrophysiological neuronal recordings, and manipulation including genetic-targeting, molecular profiling, and anatomical tracing.

Vasantha Padmanabhan, Ph.D. - Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Molecular and Integrative Physiology and adjunct professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Padmanabhan's research is translational and centers on understanding the fetal origin of pubertal and adult reproductive and metabolic disorders and the impact of steroids and estrogenic environmental pollutants in programming such defects.

Henry L. Paulson, M.D., Ph.D. – Professor in the Department of Neurology, Director of the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center and Co-Director of the Michigan Protein Folding Diseases Initiative. His research interests concern the causes and treatment of age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

Vincent Young, M.D., Ph.D. – Associate Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine – Infectious Diseases, Microbiology & Immunology.  He studies the pathogenesis of bacterial infections of the gastrointestinal tract and the role of the normal microbiota in human health and disease.