Sean Blackwell, M.D.
Sean Blackwell, M.D.

After a national search, Dean Giuseppe Colasurdo has announced that Dr. Sean Blackwell has agreed to be the chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences.

“I am very pleased to welcome Dr. Blackwell into this leadership role—he has tremendous passion for this department and school,” Dean Colasurdo said. “He has done an outstanding job of recruiting and managing top talent—building upon a very strong and specialized faculty that can teach and treat a very comprehensive patient base.”

Blackwell, an associate professor in the department, has been serving as interim chair for the past year. He received his undergraduate degree from Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind., with an A.B. in biology and the classics. He 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 was on the faculty at Wayne State University and also at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., before joining UTHealth.

For the past five years, Blackwell has been the principal investigator for Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) Maternal Fetal Medicine Units Network at UTHealth, which is the largest clinical trials network in the United States. UTHealth is one of only eight institutions that have both the NICHD-funded maternal and neonatal research networks.

He also directs the Larry C. Gilstrap M.D. Center for Perinatal and Women’s Health Research at UTHealth and serves as the assistant dean for Healthcare Quality in Perinatal Medicine and Women’s Health. He is a graduate of the Physician Quality and Safety Academy at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and Medical School. Blackwell is the vice chair for the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine (SMFM) Publications Committee and currently serves on the SMFM board of directors.

His research interests include clinical trials in obstetrics, fetal heart rate monitoring and fetal brain injury, shoulder dystocia, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and preterm birth. He has a strong clinical background in maternal fetal medicine and extensive experience in clinical care of both private patients and through an academic teaching service.

On his appointment Blackwell said, “I am honored and appreciative for the opportunity to help lead our department and build our programs; my goal is for us to become a center of excellence in every aspect of our mission—give exceptional care and service to our patients, train the next generation of physicians, and advance the science of our specialty in order to improve the quality and safety of medical care for women and children.”

Blackwell also will serve as the chief of service for Obstetrics and Gynecology at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital at the Texas Medical Center.

“Dr. Blackwell brings to our hospital a level of excellence that further enhances our ability to provide the highest quality of care to our patients. His broad-based clinical, academic, and leadership experience is an important asset to Women’s Services,” said Susie Distefano, chief executive officer of Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.

— Darla Brown, Office of Communications, Medical School