Jerome F. Strauss III, M.D., Ph.D.

                 Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System
                 Dean, VCU School of Medicine
                 Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Human and Molecular Genetics,
                 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Physiology and Biophysics
                 1201 East Marshall Street, Richmond, VA 23298
                 Phone (804) 828-9788
                 E-mail: jerome.strauss@vcuhealth.org


Research Interests

I am a physician-scientist whose research has been focused on reproductive biology and reproductive medicine. My laboratory employs the tools of molecular and cell biology and functional genomics coupled with family-based and population-based studies to identify genes and gene networks underlying the pathophysiology of disorders affecting reproduction. This paradigm has resulted in the discovery of genes involved in defects in lipid metabolism, preterm birth, preeclampsia, and a locus associated with polycystic ovary syndrome. I have a longstanding commitment to research training, and have mentored 50 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, the majority of whom have gone on to highly productive independent careers in research and medicine, with a number of them assuming leadership roles as department chairs, division directors or research institute directors.


Current Projects

1) Genetic and environmental factors causing of preterm birth including the role of the microbiome
2) Genetics and pathophysiological mechanisms in preeclampsia
3) Genetics and epigenetics of polycystic ovary syndrome
4) Genes involved in cilia function


Research Methods

Genetics, genomics and knockout animal models


Funding

 “Functional Analysis of PCOS Candidate Genes”
Principal Investigator: Jerome F. Strauss, III, M.D., Ph.D.
Agency: NICHD Type: 1 R01 HD083323-01 8/1/16-7/31/21
Identification of genes predisposing to polycystic ovary syndrome, including the development of diagnostics and therapeutics.


“Comprehensive Health Disparity Research Center of Excellence in Infant Mortality & Pregnancy Outcomes”
Principal Investigator: Jerome F. Strauss, III, M.D., Ph.D.
Agency: NCMHD Type: P60MD00256, 7/1/07 – 4/30/17
This comprehensive center on health disparities research will focus on infant mortality and poor pregnancy outcomes among African American women.
Role: Principal Investigator

“Admixture Mapping of Preterm Birth Genes”
Principal Investigator: Jerome F. Strauss, III, M.D., Ph.D.
Agency: NICHD Type : R01HD073555 8/15/12-6/30/17
The goal of the research is to map genes contributing to preterm birth in African Americans
Role: Principal Investigator

“A Multi-Omic Analysis of the Vaginal Microbiome During Pregnancy”
Principle Investigator(s): Gregory Buck, Ph.D., Kimberly Jefferson, Ph.D. and Jerome F. Strauss, III, M.D., Ph.D.
Agency: NICHD Type: U54 HD080784, 09/15/13-08/31/17,
The goal of this project is to determine the relationship between the human vaginal microflora and preterm birth.
Role: Principal Investigator

“Epigenetic mechanisms of preterm birth in a racially mixed sample of pregnant women”
Principal Investigator: Timothy York, Ph.D.
Agency: Burroughs Wellcome Fund Dates: 06/01/2015-03/31/2019
This project hypothesizes that epigenetic mechanisms mediate environmental risk in key biological pathways that, in part, control the timing of birth.
Role: Co-Investigator

“The Utilization of Photonics Technology to Rapidly Detect Bioactive Lipids Associated with Preeclampsia Development”
Principal Investigators: Charles E. Chalfant, Ph.D., Scott W. Walsh, Ph.D., Dayanjan S. Wijesinghe, Ph.D.
Agency: NICHD Type: 1U01 HD087198, 09/17/15-08/31/19
The purpose of this research is to develop a state-of-the-art detection system based on photonics using Raman spectroscopy to identify bioactive lipids in maternal blood and urine for real-time assessment of placental function throughout pregnancy.
Role: Co-Investigator

“Antiphospholipids in periodontitis”
Principal Investigator: Harvey Schenkein, DDS, PhD
Agency: NIDCR Type: R01DE018125-05A1, 04/01/16-03/31/21
We have found that many patients with periodontal diseases have serum antibodies, termed anticardiolipin, that can be induced by infection with periodontal pathogens and are themselves associated with thrombosis, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and atherosclerosis. Understanding how these antibodies may affect a person’s health by examining their effects on models of pregnancy loss may suggest diagnostic tests and interventions that could reverse these potentially harmful effects.
Role: Co-Investigator 


Selected Publications

  • McAllister JM, Modi B, Miller BA, Biegler J, Bruggeman R, Legro RS, Strauss JF 3rd.Overexpression of a DENND1A isoform produces a polycystic ovary syndrome theca phenotype. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Apr 15;111(15):E1519-27. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1400574111. Epub 2014 Mar 31. PMC3992676.
  • Carstea ED, Morris JA, Coleman KG, Loftus SK, Zhang D, Cummings C, Gu J, Rosenfeld MA, Pavan WJ, Krizman DB, Nagle J, Polymeropoulos MH, Sturley SL, Ioannou YA, Higgins ME, Comly M, Cooney A, Brown A, Kaneski CR, Blanchette-Mackie EJ, Dwyer NK, Neufeld EB, Chang TY, Liscum L, et al. Niemann-Pick C1 disease gene: homology to mediators of cholesterol homeostasis. Science. 1997 Jul 11;277(5323):228-31. 
  • Bose HS, Sugawara T, Strauss JF 3rd, Miller WL; International Congenital Lipoid Adrenal Hyperplasia Consortium. The pathophysiology and genetics of congenital lipoid adrenal hyperplasia. N Engl J Med. 1996 Dec 19;335(25):1870-8. 
  • Arakane F, Sugawara T, Nishino H, Liu Z, Holt JA, Pain D, Stocco DM, Miller WL, Strauss JF 3rd. Steroidogenic acute regulatory proten (StAR) retains activity in the absence of its mitochondrial import sequence: implications for the mechanism of StAR action. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1996 Nov 26;93(24):13731-6.
  • Wang H, Parry S, Macones G, Sammel MD, Kuivaniemi H, Tromp G, Argyropoulos G, Halder I, Shriver MD, Romero R, Strauss JF 3rd. (2006) A functional SNP in the promoter of the SERPINH1 gene increases risk of preterm premature rupture of membranes in African Americans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 103(36):13463-7.

Lab Members

 Bhavi Modi, Ph.D. student