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Emmet Hirsch , MD

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Vice Chairman for Faculty and Practice Development
Director, Division of Obstetrics

Contact Information


  • Undergraduate: BMS, Medical Sciences, Northwestern University  
  • Medical School: MD, Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University 
  • Residency: Obstetrics and Gynecology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University 
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship: Molecular Biology, Columbia University

Board Certification

  • Obstetrics and Gynecolog

Research and Academic Interests

  • Infection and inflammation
  • The clinical and molecular pathogenesis of preterm labor
  • Avoidance of cesarean section and prevention of maternal injury during vaginal delivery
  • Operative vaginal delivery.

Career Summary

Academic and Administrative Appointments

  • Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine

Honors and Awards

  • 1978 First Prize, Weizmann Institute of Science, National Science Competition for Youth, Rehovot, Israel
  • 1987 Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Medical Honors Society
  • 1992 Ralph Reis Award, first place, resident research competition, Chicago, IL
  • 1992 Chicago Maternity Center Outstanding Resident Award, Chicago, IL
  • 1992 Chicago Gynecological Society award for outstanding research presentation, first prize, Chicago, IL
  • 1992 Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO)/Parke-Davis Scholar Award
  • 1993 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists/Upjohn Company Research Award in Infectious Disease
  • 1993–1998 Physician Scientist Award (K11), National Institutes of Health
  • 1996–1998 Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Research Award, the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
  • 1999 Berlex Foundation Scholar Award in Basic Science Research
  • 2001–2004 ENH Research Career Development Award (early career)
  • 2007 ENH Research Career Development Award (mid-career)
  • 2008 March of Dimes Jonas Salk Health Leadership Award for Research
  • 2008, 2009 Outstanding Teacher Award, Northwestern University Ob/Gyn Residency

Professional Memberships/Affiliations/Activities

  • Alpha Omega Alpha, Medical Honors Society
  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 
    (Fellow #000344845I)
  • The Society for Gynecologic Investigation (Council member, 2014-2017)
  • Central Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • Perinatal Research Society (Council member, 2012-2013)

Scholarly Work

Publications in Peer-Review Journals:

  1. Hirsch E, Cohen L, Hecht B  Heterotopic pregnancy with discordant appearance of fetal cardiac activity.  Obstet Gynecol (1992) 79:824-5.
  2. Hirsch E, Saotome I, Hirsh D  A model of intrauterine infection and preterm delivery in mice.  Am J Obstet Gynecol (1995) 172:1598-603.
  3. Hirsch E, Irikura VM, Paul SM, Hirsh D  Functions of interleukin 1 receptor antagonist in gene knockout and overproducing mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (1996) 93:11008-13.
  4. Hirsch E. Anterior uterine incarceration. Int J Gynaecol Obstet (1997) 72:195-197.
  5. Hirsch E. Born too soon: Cervical ultrasonography to predict preterm delivery is unproven. The Female Patient (1998) 23: 12-21.
  6. Ma Y, Thornton S, Boivin GP, Hirsh D, Hirsch R, Hirsch E. Altered susceptibility to  collagen induced arthritis in transgenic mice with aberrant expression of IL-1 receptor antagonist. Arthritis Rheum (1998) 41: 1798-1805.
  7. Hirsch E, Mehta SP, Blanchard RK. Differential fetal and maternal contributions to the cytokine milieu in a murine model of infection-induced preterm birth. Am J Obstet Gynecol (1999) 180(2 Pt 1): 429-434.
  8. Mussalli GM, Brunnert SR, Hirsch E.  A murine model of renal abscess formation. Clin Diagn Lab Immunol (1999) 6:273-275.
  9. Irikura VM, Hirsch E, Hirsh D.  Effects of interleukin 1 receptor antagonist overexpression on infection by Listeria monocytogenes. Infect Immun (1999) 67: 1901-1909.
  10. Hirsch E, Otto T, Blanchard R, Rosenberg JO. Mouse laparoscopy. J Am Assoc Gynecol Laparosc (1999) 6: 173-177.
  11. Mussalli GM, Blanchard RK, Brunnert SR, Hirsch E. Inflammatory cytokines in a murine model of infection-induced preterm labor: Cause or effect? J Soc Gynecol Invest (1999) 6:188-195.
  12. Mussalli GM, Brunnert SR, Hirsch E. Preterm delivery in mice with renal abscess. Obstet Gynecol (2000) 95:453-6.
  13. Josephs MD, Solorzano CC, Ksontini R, Taylor M, Topping D, Abouhamze A, Mackay SLD, Hirsch E, Hirsh D, Labow M, Moldawer LL. Modulation of the acute phase response by altered expression of the IL-1 type 1 receptor or IL-1ra. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol (2000) 278:R824-R830.
  14. Leslie KK, Lee SL, Woodcock SM, Davies JK, McDuffie RS, Hirsch E, Sherman MP, Eskens JL, Gibbs RS. Acute intrauterine infection results in an imbalance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in the pregnant rabbit. Am J Reprod Immunol (2000) 43(5):305-311.
  15. Wong M-L, Xie B, Beatini N, Phu P, Marathe S, Johns A, Hirsch E, Williams KJ, Licinio J, Tabas I. Acute systemic inflammation up-regulates secretory sphingomyelinase in vivo:  A possible new link between inflammatory cytokines and atherogenesis Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (2000) 97(15):8681-8686.
  16. Muhle RA, Pavlidis P, Grundy WN, Hirsch E. A high throughput study of gene expression in preterm labor with a subtractive microarray approach. Am J Obstet Gynecol (2001) 185:716-724.
  17. Hirsch E, Muhle RA, Mussalli GM, Blanchard R. Bacterially induced preterm labor in the mouse does not require maternal interleukin 1 signaling. Am J Obstet Gynecol (2002) 186:523-530.
  18. Devlin CM, Kuriakose G, Hirsch E, Tabas I. Genetic alterations of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist in mice markedly affect non-HDL lipoprotein cholesterol levels and foam cell lesion size. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (2002) 99:6280-6285.
  19. Hirsch E, Muhle RA. Intrauterine bacterial inoculation induces labor in the mouse by mechanisms other than progesterone withdrawal. Biol Reprod (2002) 67:1337-1341.
  20. Wang H and Hirsch E. Bacterially induced preterm labor and regulation of prostaglandin metabolizing enzyme expression in mice: the role of toll-like receptor 4. Biol Reprod (2003) 69:1957-63.
  21. Yoshimura K, Hirsch E. Interleukin 6 is neither necessary nor sufficient for preterm labor in a murine infection model.  J Soc Gynecol Investig (2003) 10:423-427.
  22. Yoshimura K, Hirsch E, Kitano R, Kashimura M. Cervical varix accompanied by placenta previa in twin pregnancy. J Obstet Gynaecol Res (2004) 30:323-5.
  23. Hirsch E and Wang H. The molecular pathophysiology of bacterially induced preterm labor: insights from the murine model. J Soc Gynecol Invest (2005) 12:145-55.
  24. Hirsch E, Goldstein M, Filipovich Y, Wang H. Placental expression of enzymes regulating prostaglandin synthesis and degradation. Am J Obstet Gynecol (2005) 192:1836-43.
  25. Yoshimura K and Hirsch E. Effect of stimulation and antagonism of interleukin-1 signaling on preterm delivery in mice. J Soc Gynecol Invest (2005) 12:533-8.
  26. Craft JM, Watterson DM, Hirsch E, Van Eldik LJ.  Interleukin 1 receptor antagonist knock-out mice show enhanced microglial activation and neuronal damage induced by intracerebroventricular infusion of human b-Amyloid. J Neuroinflammation (2005) 20;2(1):15.
  27. Hirsch E, Filipovich Y, Mahendroo M. Signaling via the type I IL-1 and TNF receptors is necessary for bacterially induced preterm labor in a murine model. Am J Obstet Gynecol (2006) 194:1334-40.
  28. Hirsch E.Protecting the perineum during operative vaginal delivery. Contemporary Ob/Gyn (2007) 52: 56-63.
  29. Ilievski V, Lu S-J, Hirsch E.Activation of toll-like receptors (TLR) -2 or -3 and preterm delivery in the mouse. Reproductive Sciences (2007) 14: 315-320.
  30. Blank V, Hirsch E, Challis JR, Romero R, Lye S. Cytokine signaling, inflammation, innate immunity and preterm labour. Placenta (2008) 29 Suppl A:S102-4.
  31. Hirsch E, Haney EI, Gordon TEJ, Silver, RK. Reducing high-order perineal laceration during operative vaginal delivery. (2008) Am J Obstet Gynecol 198:668.e1-668.e5.
  32. Filipovich Y, Lu S-J, Akira S, Hirsch E. The adaptor protein MyD88 is essential for E. coli induced preterm delivery in mice. Am J Obstet Gynecol (2009) 200:93.e1-93.e8.
  33. Hirsch E, Filipovich Y, Romero R. Failure of E. coli bacteria to induce preterm delivery in the rat. (2009) J Neg Results Biomed 8:1 (4 January 2009).
  34. Equils O, Moffatt-Blue C, Ishikawa T, Simmons CF, Ilievski I and Hirsch E. Pretreatment with pancaspase inhibitor (Z-VAD-FMK) delays but does not prevent intraperitoneal heat-killed group B streptococcus-induced preterm delivery in a pregnant mouse model. (2009) Inf Dis Obstet Gynecol Volume 2009, Article ID 749432, 8 pages. DOI:10.1155/2009/749432.
  35. Adams MG, Hirsch E, MacGregor SN, Kirschner CV and Silver RK. How Should We Respond to the Trend of Increasing Cesarean Delivery? Contemp OB Gyn. (2010) 55(6):30-38.
  36. Hirsch E, Lim C, Dobrez D, Adams MG, Noble W. Meteorological factors and timing of the initiating event of human parturition. Int J Biometeor (2011) 55: 265 - 272, DOI:10.1007/s00484-010-0332-2.
  37. Ilievski V and Hirsch E.Synergy between viral and bacterial toll-like receptors leads to amplification of inflammatory responses and preterm labor in the mouse. Biol Reprod (2010) 83:767-773,  doi:10.1095/biolreprod.110.085464.
  38. Tsai H-J, Hong X, Chen J, Liu X, Pearson C, Ortiz K, Hirsch E, Heffner L, Weeks DE, Zuckerman B, Wang X. The role of African ancestry and gene-environment interactions in predicting preterm birth. Obstet Gynecol (2011) 118(5):1081-1089.
  39. Liu X, Wang G, Hong X, Tsai HJ, Liu R, Zhang S, Wang H, Pearson C, Ortiz K, Wang D, Hirsch E, Zuckerman B, Wang X.. Associations between gene polymorphisms in fatty acid metabolism pathway and preterm delivery in a US urban black population. Hum Genet (2012) 2012131:341-51. DOI 10.1007/s00439-011-1079-5.
  40. Agrawal, V and Hirsch E. Intrauterine infection and preterm labor. Semin Fetal Neonatal Med (2012) 17: 12-19, DOI 10.1016/j.siny.2011.09.001.
  41. Abramov Y, Hirsch E, Ilievski V, Goldberg RP, Botros S, Sand PK. Expression of platelet-derived growth factor B mRNA during vaginal vs. dermal incisional wound healing in the rabbit. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol (2012) 162:216-20. DOI 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2012.03.012. PMID: 22464204.
  42. Qu X-W, Jilling T, Neerhof MG, Luo K, Hirsch E, Thaete LG.  Unilateral uterine ischemia/reperfusion-induced bilateral fetal loss and fetal growth restriction in a murine model require intact complement component 5.  J Reprod Immunol 95 (2012) 27– 35.
  43. Abramov Y, Hirsch E, Ilievski V, Goldberg RP, Sand PK. Transforming Growth Factor Beta-1 Gene Expression During Vaginal Wound Healing in a Rabbit Menopause Model. BJOG, (2013) 120:251–6. DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2012.03447.x. PMID: 22827859.
  44. Abramov Y, Hirsch E, Ilievski V, Goldberg RP, Botros SM, Sand PK.  Transforming Growth Factor Beta Gene Expression During Vaginal vs. Cutaneous Surgical Wound Healing in the Rabbit. Int Urogynecol J (2013) 24 (4):671-675. PMID: 22872035.
  45. Thaete LG, Qu X-W, Jilling T, Crawford SE, Fitchev P, Hirsch E, Khan S and Neerhof MG. Impact of toll-like receptor 4 deficiency on the response to uterine ischemia/reperfusion in mice. Reproduction (2013) 145: 517–526. DOI: 10.1530/REP-12-0433.
  46. Agrawal V, Smart K, Jilling T, Hirsch E. Surfactant Protein (SP)-A Suppresses Preterm Delivery and Inflammation via TLR2. PLoS ONE (2013) 8 (5):e63390. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0063990. PMID:23700442.
  47. Jaiswal MK, Agrawal V, Mallers T, Gilman-Sachs A, Hirsch E and Beaman KD. Regulation of Apoptosis and Innate Immune Stimuli in Inflammation Induced Preterm Labor. J Immunol 2013 191:5702-13. PMID:24163412.
  48. Hirsch E, Elue R, Wagner A, Nelson K, Silver RK, Zhou Y, Adams MG. Severe perineal laceration during operative vaginal delivery: the impact of occiput posterior position. In Press, J Perinatol. doi:10.1038/jp.2014.103



  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (1R01 HD056118) Toll-like receptor signaling in the pathogenesis and prevention of prematurity. Direct costs, $1,062,500, 9/30/2008 – 6/30/2013. PI: Emmet Hirsch. No cost extension to 6/30/2014.
  •  Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (K23 HD065844-01). Mentor for K23 project, Bacterial Vaginosis: Vitamin D Links Mucosal Immunity and Patient Risk. 09/01/2011 – 06/30/2016. PI: Tara M. Randis.
  • Global Alliance for the Prevention of Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS). Development of gene-specific progesterone receptor modulators to prevent preterm birth. 2012 – 2016. PI: Sam Mesiano. (Hirsch role: consultant).
  • University of Chicago Medicine/NorthShore Collaborative Research Award. Intrauterine infection induced epigenetic changes in the fetus- implications for preterm delivery and preterm infant morbidity. Direct costs: $50,660, 9/1/13 – 8/31/14. Co-PIs: Hirsch/Lu.
  • The Satter Foundation Fund in Perinatal Research. Toward the prevention of preterm birth. Direct costs $75,000, 2/3/13 – 2/2/16. PI: Emmet Hirsch.
  • NorthShore University HealthSystem Research Institute, NorthShore Research Career Development Award.  Direct costs $125,000, 1/1/14 - 12/31/14. PI: Emmet Hirsch
  • University of Washington National Primate Research Center/Institute of Translational Health Sciences (WaNPRC/ITHS) Ignition award. Surfactant protein A to prevent preterm birth. Direct costs $64,676. PI: Kristina Adams Waldorf; Co-investigator: Emmet Hirsch.
  • University of Chicago 2014 Babies Alumni Fellowship Award. TLR3 and NOD2 synergy in macrophages: A role for viral priming in inflammation-induced parturition. Direct costs, $5,000, 6/1/14-5/31/15, PI: Emmet Hirsch; Fellow: Ankit Shah.


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