Dr. Jennifer Gilner joined the Duke University Department of OB/Gyn Faculty in 2016 as Assistant Professor following completion of both OB/Gyn residency and Maternal-Fetal Medicine fellowship training at Duke. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Chemistry, as well as Doctorate in Medicine and Doctorate in Philosophy through the NIH-funded Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
She has unique experience in basic and translational research, developed through her PhD work focused on the enrichment of therapeutic hematopoietic stem cell populations, in addition to her research in residency and fellowship investigating mechanisms of preterm birth. Through the course of her training, she has received several research, leadership and teaching awards and has been first author on peer-reviewed publications. Her fellowship thesis garnered national attention through the scholarship committees of the American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Foundation (AAOGF) and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine’s Pregnancy Foundation. In 2016, Dr. Gilner was selected for the prestigious AAOGF/Pregnancy Foundation Career Development Award, and is currently participating in the 3-year scholarship program.
Dr. Gilner’s particular area of clinical and research interest is in understanding mechanisms of preterm birth. She is investigating the role of specialized immune system cells, called T Regulatory cells, in preterm births that demonstrate a molecular phenotype of immunologic rejection. Current options to identify at-risk women and to prevent preterm birth are limited and globally applied, despite heterogeneous disease etiologies. Improved understanding of the molecular and cellular pathophysiology of preterm birth will lead to novel strategies for classification of preterm births as well as strategies for targeted therapeutic interventions to lessen the perinatal morbidity and mortality of prematurity.