School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine

About the PRB

In 1993, the United States Congress mandated that the National Institutes of Health develop a research center to study and reduce the rate of infant mortality, especially in highly impacted ethnic and racial minorities. After failed attempts to establish centers in two other locations, in 2002 the NIH awarded Wayne State University a 10-year contract to house a Perinatology Research Branch.

Detroit was selected to house the PRB because of the expertise in Wayne State University’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Detroit Medical Center, the state of Michigan and Wayne State’s willingness to spend millions of dollars renovating space in Hutzel Hospital at no cost to the NIH and access to a large number of pregnant women in an area with a higher- than-average rate of infant mortality.

Over its 10 years, the PRB contract will result in approximately $150 million in direct federal expenditures to cover facilities and staff expenses, not including additional grant opportunities and indirect benefits. The contract is the largest award in Wayne State’s history.

Since its inception, the PRB has conducted clinical and basic research in perinatal medicine helping to develop diagnostic, therapeutic and preventative strategies to improve pregnancy outcomes. It has also trained physicians and scientists to enhance the health care of pregnant women and their unborn children. Read more.