Many health and social problems in the United States can be attributed to preterm births. The Burroughs Wellcome Fund launched a new award initiative in 2009 to increase the understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying parturition and spontaneous preterm birth using multidisciplinary approaches.
In 2020, building upon the original goals of the BWF Preterm Birth Initiative, a recently convened Pregnancy Think Tank has helped shape the next generation of BWF preterm birth awards. Growing evidence suggests the interrelatedness of the duration of pregnancy, fetal growth, and adverse pregnancy outcomes such as preterm birth, preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, stillbirth, and maternal medical complications including maternal mortality.
Other areas of interest are climate change and environmental impact on pregnancy, complications associated with ART, and epigenome-wide association studies.