The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) named Dr. Sean Blackwell, professor and chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at McGovern Medical School, its newest president in early February.

Blackwell officially assumed the position Feb. 3 and will oversee guidelines and policies that will be used in the care of pregnant women facing various maternal and fetal conditions across the world. His responsibilities include setting policies in obstetrical care, advocating for clinical practice, education, and research in obstetrics, and directing other advocacy efforts and education initiatives. Blackwell previously served as vice chair for the SMFM Publications Committee and as vice president for the SMFM Board of Directors.

Established in 1977, the SMFM is the premiere membership organization for maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialists and represents the interests in nearly 3,000 physicians and MFM practice professionals. The organization provides in-person and online educational opportunities for physicians and MFM practice professionals, interacts with members of Congress and federal agencies to advocate for MFM specialists, and develops a variety of publications.

Blackwell has served as chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences since 2012. He received his undergraduate degree from Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind., with an A.B. in biology and the classics and earned his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford, Ill. He completed his obstetrics and gynecology residency and maternal-fetal medicine fellowship at Wayne State University in Detroit.

Blackwell holds a strong clinical background in maternal fetal medicine and has clinical and scientific expertise in preterm birth, medical complications of pregnancy, the role of obesity in pregnancy outcomes, pregnancy in women with physical disabilities, fetal brain injury, and shoulder Dystocia.

Blackwell is the director of the Larry C. Gilstrap M.D. Center for Perinatal and Women’s Health Research at UTHealth and is assistant dean for the Healthcare Quality in Perinatal Medicine and Women’s Health.