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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. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Vicier C, Werner L, Chipman J, Harshman LC, Patil DH, Fichorova RN, Rider JR, Sanda MG, Mucci LA, Sweeney CJ. Elevated Serum Cytokines and Trichomonas vaginalis Serology at Diagnosis Are Not Associated With Higher Gleason Grade or Lethal Prostate Cancer. Clin Genitourin Cancer. 2019 Feb; 17(1):32-37.

5. Leviton A, Joseph RM, Fichorova RN, Allred EN, Gerry Taylor H, Michael O'Shea T, Dammann O. Executive Dysfunction Early Postnatal Biomarkers among Children Born Extremely Preterm. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2018 Sep 06.

6. Morrison CS, Fichorova R, Chen PL, Kwok C, Deese J, Yamamoto H, Anderson S, Chipato T, Salata R, Doncel GF. A Longitudinal Assessment of Cervical Inflammation and Immunity Associated with HIV-1 Infection, Hormonal Contraception, and Pregnancy. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2018 Oct; 34(10):889-899.

7. Kuban KCK, Heeren T, O'Shea TM, Joseph RM, Fichorova RN, Douglass L, Jara H, Frazier JA, Hirtz D, Taylor HG, Rollins JV, Paneth N. Among Children Born Extremely Preterm a Higher Level of Circulating Neurotrophins Is Associated with Lower Risk of Cognitive Impairment at School Age. J Pediatr. 2018 10; 201:40-48.e4.

8. Thurman AR, Schwartz JL, Brache V, Clark MR, McCormick T, Chandra N, Marzinke MA, Stanczyk FZ, Dezzutti CS, Hillier SL, Herold BC, Fichorova R, Asin SN, Rollenhagen C, Weiner D, Kiser P, Doncel GF. Randomized, placebo controlled phase I trial of safety, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and acceptability of tenofovir and tenofovir plus levonorgestrel vaginal rings in women. PLoS One. 2018; 13(6):e0199778.

9. Leviton A, Joseph RM, Allred EN, Fichorova RN, O'Shea TM, Kuban KKC, Dammann O. The risk of neurodevelopmental disorders at age 10?years associated with blood concentrations of interleukins 4 and 10 during the first postnatal month of children born extremely preterm. Cytokine. 2018 Oct; 110:181-188.

10. Cramer DW, Fichorova RN, Terry KL, Yamamoto H, Vitonis AF, Ardanaz E, Aune D, Boeing H, Brändstedt J, Boutron-Ruault MC, Chirlaque MD, Dorronsoro M, Dossus L, Duell EJ, Gram IT, Gunter M, Hansen L, Idahl A, Johnson T, Khaw KT, Krogh V, Kvaskoff M, Mattiello A, Matullo G, Merritt MA, Nodin B, Orfanos P, Onland-Moret NC, Palli D, Peppa E, Quirós JR, Sánchez-Perez MJ, Severi G, Tjønneland A, Travis RC, Trichopoulou A, Tumino R, Weiderpass E, Fortner RT, Kaaks R. Anti-CA15.3 and Anti-CA125 Antibodies and Ovarian Cancer Risk: Results from the EPIC Cohort. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2018 Jul; 27(7):790-804.