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Raina Nakova Fichorova, MD, PhD
Distinguished Chair in Obstetrics, Gynecology, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Harvard Medical School
Research Division Director

Brigham and Women's Hospital
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
75 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02115

Research Location: Richardson Fuller

Research Email:

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Research Narrative:

Dr. Raina Fichorova received her MD and followed by PhD in reproductive immunology from the Medical University of Sofia and completed Fellowship in Reproductive Immunology at HMS/BWH. She was appointed to the Harvard University Faculty in 1997, rising within the ranks from Instructor to a Harvard Medical School Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology.  In 2002 Dr. Fichorova founded within the Department of OB/GYN the Genital Tract Biology Division, the first Research Division to be uniquely accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Her laboratory has been performing basic and translational research under CAP accreditation for over a decade.

Dr. Fichorova is an NIH supported PI with over 150 publications at the intersection of immunology and reproductive health, and with a special interest in inflammation and microbiome.  Her basic research unveiled molecular mechanisms of host-microbiota-protozoan interactions underlying bacterial vaginosis and human trichomoniasis, the most common non-viral sexually transmitted infection, and has discovered the role of protozoan endosymbiont viruses in human disease. She has also contributed to understanding inflammation as a driver of preterm birth, preeclampsia and developmental problems in the extremely low gestation age born. Dr. Fichorova’s current research investigates how maternal microbes regulate the reproductive tract immunity and how reproductive hormones and contraceptives modify this environment.

Dr. Fichorova has contributed a number of technological advances to the field of reproductive immunology and biology of the genital tract, including preclinical models, methods, biomarkers, and safety algorithms for immunotoxicity evaluation of vaginal formulations and microbicides. Among her inventions are the only non-cancer immortalized epithelial cell lines available through ATCC to date, representing the normal tissues of all three anatomically distinct compartments of the lower female reproductive tract.

Dr. Fichorova has served as a grant reviewer over 30 international and NIH study sections, including NICHD, NIAID/DAIDS, Research Foundation of Flanders, the National Research Foundation of South Africa etc.  She has received multiple honors including Excellence Award in teaching from the Academy at Harvard Medical School and the highest honor for contributions to Reproductive Immunology from the International Coordinating Committee for Immunology of Reproduction. She served on the Councils of the Society for Microbial Ecology and Disease and the American Society for Reproductive Immunology (ASRI), and chaired an ASRI congress.


Medical University of Sofia, Bulgaria, MD
Medical University of Sofia, Bulgaria, PhD

The Kiril Bratanov Medal, for contributions to the advancement of reproductive immunology and the International Coordinating Committee for Immunology of Reproduction
Excellence in tutorial facilitation (immunology, microbiology and pathology), Harvard Medical School, 2011, 2012, 2014
Honorary Master of Science, Harvard University
Excellence in teaching award, The Academy at Harvard Medical School
The Walter Channing MD Distinguished Chair in Obstetrics and Gynecology

HTG Molecular EdgeSeq
Meso Scale Discovery S600
Luminex MAGPIX
BSL2+ Facility
Coy Anaerobic Chamber

Courses Taught:
Since 2015, Harvard Medical School, The Foundations of Medicine

2009-2014, Harvard Medical School, Immunology, Microbiology and Pathology

Since 2005, Harvard Medical School, Comprehensive Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), The OSCE, which is required for graduation, assesses students' abilities to integrate clinical knowledge and skills, and prepares students for the USMLE Step II Clinical Skills Exam.

Dr. Fichorova is OSCE Core Faculty for the following courses: Professional Development Week, focusing on screening the skills learned in the Practice of Medicine course; Preclinical Clinical Experience; Introduction to Clinical Medicine and Clinical Capstone course

Publications (Pulled from Harvard Catalyst Profiles):

1. Bulka CM, Dammann O, Santos HP, VanderVeen DK, Smeester L, Fichorova R, O'Shea TM, Fry RC. Placental CpG Methylation of Inflammation, Angiogenic, and Neurotrophic Genes and Retinopathy of Prematurity. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2019 Jul 01; 60(8):2888-2894.

2. Cox LM, Seekatz AM, Fichorova RN. Introduction to the special issue for The anaerobe society of the America's 14th Biennial congress in Las Vegas. Anaerobe. 2019 Jun 27.

3. Thurman A, Chandra N, Schwartz JL, Brache V, Chen BA, Asin S, Rollenhagen C, Herold BC, Fichorova RN, Hillier SL, Weiner DH, Mauck C, Doncel GF. The Effect of Hormonal Contraception on Cervicovaginal Mucosal End Points Associated with HIV Acquisition. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2019 May 14.

4. Kuban KCK, Jara H, O'Shea TM, Heeren T, Joseph RM, Fichorova RN, Alshamrani K, Aakil A, Beaulieu F, Horn M, Douglass LM, Frazier JA, Hirtz D, Rollins JV, Cochran D, Paneth N. Association of Circulating Proinflammatory and Anti-inflammatory Protein Biomarkers in Extremely Preterm Born Children with Subsequent Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging Volumes and Cognitive Function at Age 10 Years. J Pediatr. 2019 Jul; 210:81-90.e3.

5. Govender Y, Gabriel I, Minassian V, Fichorova R. The Current Evidence on the Association Between the Urinary Microbiome and Urinary Incontinence in Women. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2019; 9:133.

6. Sasamoto N, Babic A, Rosner BA, Fortner RT, Vitonis AF, Yamamoto H, Fichorova RN, Tjønneland A, Hansen L, Overvad K, Kvaskoff M, Fournier A, Romana Mancini F, Boeing H, Trichopoulou A, Peppa E, Karakatsani A, Palli D, Pala V, Mattiello A, Tumino R, Grasso CC, Onland-Moret NC, Weiderpass E, Quirós JR, Lujan-Barroso L, Rodríguez-Barranco M, Colorado-Yohar S, Barricarte A, Dorronsoro M, Idahl A, Lundin E, Sartor H, Khaw KT, Key TJ, Muller D, Riboli E, Gunter MJ, Dossus L, Kaaks R, Cramer DW, Tworoger SS, Terry KL. Predicting Circulating CA125 Levels among Healthy Premenopausal Women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2019 Jun; 28(6):1076-1085.

7. Pandit H, Kale K, Yamamoto H, Thakur G, Rokade S, Chakraborty P, Vasudevan M, Kishore U, Madan T, Fichorova RN. Surfactant Protein D Reverses the Gene Signature of Transepithelial HIV-1 Passage and Restricts the Viral Transfer Across the Vaginal Barrier. Front Immunol. 2019; 10:264.

8. Leviton A, Allred EN, Dammann O, Joseph RM, Fichorova RN, O'Shea TM, Kuban KCK. Socioeconomic status and early blood concentrations of inflammation-related and neurotrophic proteins among extremely preterm newborns. PLoS One. 2019; 14(3):e0214154.

9. Leviton A, Allred EN, Fichorova RN, VanderVeen DK, O'Shea TM, Kuban K, Dammann O. Early Postnatal IGF-1 and IGFBP-1 Blood Levels in Extremely Preterm Infants: Relationships with Indicators of Placental Insufficiency and with Systemic Inflammation. Am J Perinatol. 2019 Jan 27.

10. Hipwell AE, Kahn LG, Factor-Litvak P, Porucznik CA, Siegel EL, Fichorova RN, Hamman RF, Klein-Fedyshin M, Harley KG. Exposure to non-persistent chemicals in consumer products and fecundability: a systematic review. Hum Reprod Update. 2019 Jan 01; 25(1):51-71.