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Research and Innovation

The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Inova Women's Hospital is focused not only on treating the women's illnesses of today, but also pioneering better ways to screen, prevent, and treat women of tomorrow.

Larry Maxwell, MD, leads a consortium of laboratories across the United States in prominent university healthcare systems in addition to local research operations at Inova and the National Institutes of Health. In addition, Dr Maxwell co-directs the Womens Health Integrated Research Center at Inova (WHIRC).

WHIRC is uniquely positioned to enable clinical applications of state-of-the-art, systems level molecular profiling that have a major impact on diagnosis, assessment of prognosis and response to treatment.

The mission of WHIRC is to apply “omics” technologies (e.g., genomics and proteomics) toward identifying, characterizing and validating biomarkers for clinical applications in women’s cancers. Since understanding of disease-related biology does not conform neatly to an isolated approach of scientific disciplines such as biochemistry or molecular biology, and with the recent emergence of modern genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and other related technologies, it is increasingly important to combine all possible approaches of biological analyses into a systematic study of molecular processes, otherwise known as systems biology.

This field is driving toward the goal of analyzing, linking and explaining aspects of biology from the molecular to the population level. Within this context, genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics are leading-edge research technologies that show promise for revolutionizing manifold applications in personalized medicine, including diagnosis, prognosis and patient stratification.