The purpose of this institutional research training program is to develop a cadre of diverse and highly trained academic clinical and non-clinical scientists who will conduct basic, translational and clinical research in maternal and fetal pharmacology and therapeutics. The goal is that well trained scientists will assume leadership roles related to the nation’s maternal fetal pharmacology research agenda and make contributions to this field to improve pharmacotherapy for pregnant women and to prevent and reduce risk and harmful effects medications for the mothers and their unborn babies.



  • U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status (green card)
  • PhD in Health Sciences, or PharmD with or without PGY1 Residency, or MD


Program Structure

The program provides each trainee two years of full-time postdoctoral research training, including didactic instruction, mentoring, and supervised research experience. Trainees are expected to be participants in a formal curriculum offering broad and fundamental training in areas such as obstetric pharmacology; therapeutics; physiology and drug metabolism; placental physiology and transporters; pharmacogenetics/pharmacogenomics; pharmaco-epidemiology; clinical trials design, conduct and analysis; biostatistics; bioinformatics; bioethics; and other related biomedical disciplines and research areas.

The training program may be integrated into a clinical fellowship program as in maternal-fetal medicine, or other relevant fellowship programs. A certificate recognizing that the candidate has completed training in obstetric-fetal pharmacology will be issued by upon completion of training.

Program support The program provides 2 years’ support at a salary range of $42,000-$56,000 (based on level of experience) with opportunity for
moonlighting for MDs.
Program sponsorship National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Office of Research on Women’s Health
Program directors Steve N. Caritis, MD

Raman Venkataramanan, PhD

Sites University of Pittsburgh, School of PharmacyMagee-Womens Hospital of UPMC


Application Process

Interested candidates, should email the following documents to the Program Coordinator, Denise Chizmar, at chizmardl@upmc.edu.

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement
  • Three references


Scholars and Alumni


Current scholars

Martha Bustos, PhD (2014 – )

  • Project(s): 17-OPHC Pharmacogenomics; Granisetron Pharmacogenomics in Pregnancy
  • Mentor(s): Raman Venkataramanan, Ph.D.


Lara Siminerio, PharmD (2015 – )

  • Project(s): Pharmacokinetics of Ondansetron in Pregnancy
  • Mentor(s): Steve N. Caritis, MD; Raman Venkataramanan, PhD



Jaime Bastian, Pharm D (2012-2014)

  • Project(s): Impact of Pregnancy on Buprenorphine Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics
  • Mentor(s): Steve N. Caritis, MD. and Raman Venkataramanan, Ph.D.
  • Project(s): Route and Formulation Dependent Metabolism of 17-OHPC in Rats; Safety and Pharmacokinetics of Vaginal Administration of 17-OHPC in Rats and Rabbits; Buprenorphine pharmacokinetics in pregnancy
  • Current appointment: Assistant Professor of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences & Pharmacy Practice and Administrative Sciences, Idaho State University