Calvin Hobel

Calvin Hobel, MD, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA

Calvin Hobel was born in Leigh, Nebraska in 1937. He received his BA Degree in Psychology and Chemistry from the University of Minnesota in 1959 and then returned to Nebraska to begin his medical career at the University of Nebraska and completed Medical School in 1963. Post Medical School he interned and completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Harbor/UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles in 1968. During his residency he had the opportunity to take a fellowship position in fetal physiology at the University of Auckland, National Women’s Hospital between 1966-67 under the direction of Sir William Liley and Sir Graham ‘Mont’ Liggins. Post residency he joined the full time faculty at Harbor/UCLA where he directed the first Maternal Fetal Medicine training program in Los Angeles. In 1980 he spent a Sabbatical Year at the University of Paris in the Neuropharmacology Unit to study how stress affects the pregnant rat and its newborn pups. At the same time he collaborated with Emil Papiernik in Paris who was the first to start a preterm birth prevention program using behavioral modification, work leave and progesterone. Post sabbatical he returned to Harbor/UCLA and started the West LA Preterm Birth Prevention program based upon Papiernik’s philosophy and after 5 years of a randomized controlled trial a significant 15% drop in preterm birth rates occurred in the study clinics. During this period of study Dr. Hobel was recruited to Cedars Sinai Medical Center where he continued to do research on the role of stress as a cause of preterm birth. During this period Dr. Hobel received an endowed chair, The Miriam Jacobs Chair in Maternal Fetal Medicine in 1985, and in 2009 he received the Pioneer in Medicine Award for his leadership in clinical medicine, research and for new concepts on the role of stress as a cause of preterm birth and the programming of the fetus for the risk of the early onset of the risk of cardiovascular disease.

He continues to be active in a quest to develop a multidisciplinary clinical and basic research collaborative at four levels. At the institutional level He supervises an active research laboratory supported by one NIH Grant and his Endowed Chair. At the regional level over the last twelve years, he has followed over 4000 subjects to determine how stress during early pregnancy determines the risk for preterm birth and the development of childhood stress susceptibility. More recently his research group has focused on the role of how obesity during pregnancy affects women’s health during pregnancy, and during the first year postpartum and how maternal risk programs the fetus and newborn for the risk of obesity and stress reactivity. At the national level he received an NIH grant eight years ago to be part of a new NIH initiative to form a Community Child Health Network (CCHN) between five cities in the US to design a study to assess the effectiveness of an Academic/Community Participatory Research Agenda. After two years of planning, academicians and community leaders from five cities completed five years of patient recruitment and two years of analysis of data (2008-2014). From an international perspective he developed an international collaborative, the Preterm Birth International Collaborative (PREBIC), to study preterm birth worldwide, which is supported by the March of Dimes and WHO to provide structure for international studies on preterm birth. In addition to PREBIC Dr. Hobel is the medical director of the Cedars Sinai Eastern European Collaborative for Women and Child Health. Currently at Cedars Sinai he has established a dedicated center known as the “Center for Maternal and Child Health”. This center provides his group with space to more effectively interact with subjects, graduate students and participants to continue their local, regional, national and international collaborative research on the subject of preterm birth, poor fetal growth, the fetal origins of adult diseases and community participatory research to improve the Health of Women and Children.