Skip to main content

Irina Burd, MD, PhD

Sylvan Frieman, MD Endowed Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences

Academic Title:


Primary Appointment:

Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences

Administrative Title:

Chair, Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences


22 S. Greene Street Building, UMMC

Phone (Primary):


Education and Training

  • Rutgers University, BA, Biology, 1995 
  • Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, MD, PhD, 2003
  • Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Residency, Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2007
  • University of Pennsylvania, Fellowship, Maternal Fetal Medicine, 2010 


  • American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG), Obstetrics and Gynecology Board Certified, 2010-Present
  • ABOG, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Sub-Specialty Board Certified, 2013-Present


Dr. Irina Burd is the Sylvan Frieman, MD Endowed Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Maryland. Her areas of clinical expertise include high-risk pregnancy conditions and fetal brain development. Dr. Burd earned her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University. She completed the combined M.D./Ph.D. program at the Rutgers University-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and performed a fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Burd was recruited to the University of Maryland from the Johns Hopkins University, where Dr. Burd rose through the ranks from Assistant Professor to Full Professor.

Dr. Burd is a member of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, the Society for Reproductive Investigation, and the Perinatal Research Society. She has published over 150 peer-reviewed research articles and is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Ikaria Research Award from the Perinatal Research Society, a research award from the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology/American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Foundation, the Thomas R. Boggs Jr. Research Award from the Philadelphia Perinatal Society, Passano Foundation Clinician Scientist Award, SRI President’s Achievement Award, and ASRI Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Burd is a recipient of a National Institutes of Health funding from 2009. Dr. Burd served as a Chair of NICHD Study Section “Obstetrics and Maternal Fetal Biology” from 2016 to 2021. She is a past President of the Perinatal Research Society and Immediate Past President of the American Society for Reproductive Immunology.

Watch Dr. Burd's Investiture Ceremony

Research/Clinical Keywords

Maternal Fetal Medicine. fetal neurosonology, fetal echocardiography, fetal programming, immune fetal programming, neuroimmune fetal programming, exposure to intrauterine inflammation and infection

Highlighted Publications

Leitner K, Al Shammary M, McLane M, Johnston M, Elovitz M, Burd I. IL-1 receptor blockade prevents fetal cortical brain injury but not preterm birth in a mouse model of inflammation-induced preterm birth and perinatal brain injury. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2014 May;71(5):418-26.

Vermillion M, Lei J, Shabi Y, Baxter V, Crilly N, McLane M, Griffin D, Pekosz A, Klein SL, Burd I. Intrauterine Zika virus infection of pregnant immunocompetent mice models transplacental transmission and adverse perinatal outcomes. Nat Commun 2017 Feb 21;8:14575.

Tsimis ME, Lei J, Rosenzweig JM, Arif H, Shabi Y, Alshehri W, Talbot CC, Baig-Ward KM, Segars J, Graham EM, Burd I. P2X7 receptor blockade prevents preterm birth and perinatal brain injury in a mouse model of intrauterine inflammation. Biol Reprod. 2017 Aug 1;97(2):230-239.

Lei J, Xie L, Zhao H, Gard C, Clemens JL, McLane MW, Feller MC, Ozen M, Novak C, Alshehri W, Alhejaily N, Shabi Y, Rosenzweig JM, Facciabene A, Burd I. Maternal CD8+ T-cell depletion alleviates intrauterine inflammation-induced perinatal brain injury. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2017 Dec 4.

Novak CM, Ozen M, McLane M, Alqutub S, Lee JY, Lei J, Burd I. Progesterone improves perinatal neuromotor outcomes in a mouse model of intrauterine inflammation via immunomodulation of the placenta. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2018 May 79(5):e12842

Wu D, Xu J, Lei J, McLane M, van Zijl PC, Burd I. Dynamic glucose enhanced MRI of the placenta in a mouse model of intrauterine inflammation. 2018 Sep;69:86-91. doi: 10.1016/j.placenta.2018.07.012. Epub 2018 Jul 20.

Novak CM, Lee JY, Ozen M, Tsimis ME, Kucirka LM, McLane MW, Xie L, Kelleher M, Xie H Jia B, Lei J, Burd I. Increased placental T-cell trafficking results in adverse neurobehavioral outcomes in offspring exposed to sub-chronic maternal inflammation. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity

Lei J, Vermillion MS, Jia B, Xie H, Xie L, McLane MW, Sheffield JS, Pekosz A, Brown A, Klein SL, Burd I. IL-1 receptor antagonist therapy mitigates placental dysfunction and perinatal injury following Zika virus infection. JCI Insight. 2019 Feb 28;4(7). pii: 122678. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.122678. eCollection 2019 Apr 4.

Ozen M, Xie H, Shin N, Al Yousif G, Clemens J, McLane MW, Lei J, Burd I. Magnesium sulfate inhibits inflammation through P2X7 receptors in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Pediatr Res. 2019 Sep 7. doi: 10.1038/s41390-019-0557-7.

Zhao H, Xie L, Clemens JL, Zong L, McLane MW, Arif H, Feller MC, Jia B, Zhu Y, Facciabene A, Ozen M, Lei J, Burd I. Mouse Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Alleviate Perinatal Brain Injury Via a CD8+ T Cell Mechanism in a Model of Intrauterine Inflammation. Reprod Sci. 2020 Jan 29. doi: 10.1007/s43032-020-00157-y.

Chudnovets A, Lei J, Na Q, Dong J, Narasimhan H, Klein SL, Burd I. Dose-dependent structural and immunological changes in the placenta and fetal brain in response to systemic inflammation during pregnancy. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2020 Apr 19:e13248. doi: 10.1111/aji.13248. [Epub ahead of print]

Kelleher MA, Lee JY, Roberts V, Novak CM, Baschat AA, Morgan TK, Novy MJ, Rasanen JP, Frias AE, Burd I. Maternal Azithromycin therapy for Ureaplasma parvum intra-amniotic infection improves fetal hemodynamics in a non-human primate model. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Apr 25. pii: S0002-9378(20)30463-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2020.04.015. [Epub ahead of print]

Zierden HC, Ortiz JI, DeLong K, Yu J, Li G, Dimitrion P, Bensouda S, Laney V, Bailey A, Anders NM, Scardina M, Mahendroo M, Mesiano S, Burd I, Wagner G, Hanes J, Ensign LM. Enhanced drug delivery to the reproductive tract using nanomedicine reveals therapeutic options for prevention of preterm birth. Sci Transl Med. 2021 Jan 13;13(576):eabc6245. PMID: 33441428

Sherer ML, Lei J, Creisher PS, Jang M, Reddy R, Voegtline K, Olson S, Littlefield K, Park HS, Ursin RL, Ganesan A, Boyer T, Elsayed N, Brown DM, Walch SN, Antar AAR, Manabe YC, Jones-Beatty K, Golden WC, Satin AJ, Sheffield JS, Pekosz A, Klein SL, Burd I. Pregnancy alters interleukin-1 beta expression and antiviral antibody responses during severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2021 Mar 30:S0002-9378(21)00208-8. PMID: 33798476

Liu J, Liu Y, Panda S, Liu A, Lei J,Burd I. Type 1 Cytotoxic T Cells Increase in Placenta after Intrauterine Inflammation. Front Immunol. 2021 Sep 8;12:718563. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.718563. eCollection 2021.PMID: 34566975

Na Q, Chudnovets A, Liu J, Lee JY, Dong J, Shin N, Elsayed N, Lei J, Burd I. Placental Macrophages Demonstrate Sex-Specific Response to Intrauterine Inflammation and May Serve as a Marker of Perinatal Neuroinflammation. J Reprod Immunol. 2021 Sep;147:103360. doi: 10.1016/j.jri.2021.103360. Epub 2021 Jul 29.PMID: 34390

Lu J, Ahmad R, Nguyen T, Cifello J, Hemani H, Li J, Chen J, Li S, Wang J, Achour A, Chen J, Colie M, Lustig A, Dunn C, Zukley L, Chia CW, Burd I, Zhu J, Ferrucci L, Weng NP.Heterogeneity and transcriptome changes of human CD8+ T cells across nine decades of life. Nat Commun. 2022 Sep 1;13(1):5128. PMID: 36050300

Additional Publication Citations

Clinical Specialty Details

Board certified Maternal Fetal Medicine physician with full scope of practice, dedicating 20% to clinical care with clinical expertise in fetal neurosonology and fetal echocardiography. Development of Fetal Neurosonology program at the Johns Hopkins Hospital generated referral nationally and internationally. Research focus is in fetal programing (immune and neuroimmune) with exposure to intrauterine inflammation and infection.

Awards and Affiliations

  • 1995 - Athenaum Honor Society Award (Rutgers University)
  • 1995 - Gerard S. Weissman Memorial Prize in Biology (Rutgers University)
  • 1998 - Merck/AFAR Scholarship in Pharmacology of Aging
  • 2002 - Honorable Mention Manuscript, Residency Competition, Primary Care Update for Ob/Gyns
  • 2002 - Research Achievement Award  (Rutgers-RWJMS)
  • 2002 - President, Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Honor Society (Rutgers-RWJMS)
  • 2003 - Academic Excellence in Obstetrics and Gynecology Award (Rutgers-RWJMS)
  • 2003-2005 - Ob-Gyn Excellence in Teaching Awards (Thomas Jefferson University)
  • 2005 - American College of Surgeons Certificate of Appreciation for Exemplary Teaching
  • 2005 - Arnold P. Gold Foundation Resident Award for Humanism in Medicine and Excellence in Teaching
  • 2005 - Berlex Best Teaching Resident Award
  • 2006 - Administrative Chief, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Thomas Jefferson Univ Hosp
  • 2006 - S. Leon Israel Award for Excellence in Research (Obstetrical Society of Philadelphia)
  • 2007 - Research Award, Thomas Jefferson University, Department of Ob/Gyn
  • 2007 - Howard Lees Kent Memorial Prize for Outstanding Scholarship, Thomas Jefferson University, Department of Ob/Gyn
  • 2009-2012 - American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology/American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Foundation (ABOG/AAOGF) Scholar
  • 2009-2011 - NIH Loan Repayment Award
  • 2010 - Ikaria Early Career Investigator Award (The Perinatal Research Society)
  • 2010 - Thomas Boggs Award (Philadelphia Perinatal Society)
  • 2011 - Pfizer SRI President’s Presenter Award, Mentor, Society for Reproductive Investigation
  • 2012 - Johns Hopkins University Clinician Scientist Award (K12)
  • 2012 - Passano Foundation Clinician Scientist Award
  • 2013 - Super Doctors Rising Star, Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC area, rated by Washington Post
  • 2014 - Dr. John Gusdon Memorial New Investigator Award, Mentor (American Society for Reproductive Immunology)
  • 2015 - Dr. John Gusdon Memorial New Investigator Award, Mentor (American Society for Reproductive Immunology)
  • 2017 - Dr. John Gusdon Memorial New Investigator Award, Mentor (American Society for Reproductive Immunology)
  • 2016 - Pfizer SRI President’s Presenter Award, Mentor, Society for Reproductive Investigations
  • 2016 - Johns Hopkins Discovery Award
  • 2017 - James W. Kennedy Award (AAOGF)
  • 2018 - American Journal for Reproductive Immunology Award, American Society for Reproductive Immunology (ASRI)
  • 2019 - Mead Johnson Award Speaker, Perinatal Research Society
  • 2021 - President’s Achievement Award, Society for Reproductive Investigation
  • 2022 - ASRI Distinguished Service Award

Grants and Contracts

Active Grants

10/1/2018 - 9/30/2023

IL-1β regulation of Zika-mediated adverse perinatal outcomes
$609,548 (total per year)
PI: Burd/Klein
PD/PI, 20%

The goal of this study is to test the hypothesis that the extent of perinatal neurologic injury following intrauterine ZIKV infection is determined by the state of placental inflammation, which can then be reversed by targeting maternal IL-1β signaling. These studies are the direct extension of my work on NICHD K08 “IL-1β regulation of perinatal brain injury.”  Unlike the K08 and 1R01HD1031240-01A1 (nanomedicine approaches) studies, employing an endotoxin, a component of gram negative bacteria, these R01 studies aim to demonstrate the generalizability of the key findings (how placental inflammatory determinants impact fetal programming) of my prior work and aim to extrapolate to a viral infections (i.e., Zika virus and SARS-Cov2, as NICHD-approved expanded aims) in utero.


IL-36 responses in Staphylococcus aureus driven skin inflammation
PI: Archer
Co-I, 5%

4/01/2019 – 3/31/2024

Intergenerational link of cardiometabolic risk: Integrate multi-omics with birth cohort

PI: Wang X/Liang L
Co, I, 3%

04/13/21 – 03/31/26

Nanomedicine approaches for prevention of inflammation-induced preterm birth

$629,685 (total per year)
PI: Burd/Ensign                      
PI, 20%

The major goal of this study is to explore nanomedicine approaches to address fundamental questions regarding route of administration, pharmacokinetics, as well as validating existing drug classes that may be reformulated and repurposed for improved targeting to the female reproductive tract. If these preclinical studies progress as expected, we will have identified novel, effective methods for prevention of inflammation-induced preterm birth that also support fetal and neonatal immunological and neuro-immunological programming and development.


Defining SARS-CoV-2 vaccine-induced immunity in pregnant and lactating people
CERSI Collaborators: Burd, Klein, Cox, Pekosz, Mostafa
FDA collaborators: Sewell, Wesley
Co-PI, 2.5%


7/24 Healthy Brain and Child Development National Consortium
$969,101 (total per year)
PI: Burd/Volk/Kaufman
PI, 5%

The Healthy Brain and Child Development National Consortium (HBCD-NC) will follow 7,500 mothers and their children from 24 locations across the U.S. from before birth to 10 years of age to better understand which harmful and protective environments exert the greatest impact on child development. This study will help to improve the health and development of children across the nation.

Completed grants

7/1/09 – 6/30/12

Excitotoxicity as a Mechanism of Neuronal Damage in Inflammation-Induced Preterm Birth
Foundation of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology/American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Foundation
PI: Burd
75% effort


IL1β Regulation of Perinatal Brain Injury

K08 HD073315-05
PI: Burd
75% effort

6/1/13 – 5/30/16

Towards of molecular point-of-care diagnosis: Using umbilical cord blood

Gerber Foundation
PI: Yang
Co-Investigator, 5% effort

The major goal of this project is perform an exploratory validation study to evaluate performance and operational characteristics of novel PCR-HRMA assay using umbilical cord blood.


CHAP Study (multi-sites)
U01 HL120338-01A1
PI: Tita
Johns Hopkins University Site PI, 5% effort


ASRI Conference
March of Dimes
PI: Burd

9/1/2011 – 6/30/2018

Post-doctorate research training of Saudi Arabian physicians
Ministry of Higher Education of Saudi Arabia/Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission
$6,776,428/over 7 years (72 fellows rotated through this program)
PI: Burd

The major goals of this project is to train Saudi Arabian physicians to conduct research through 1-2 year full time positions, to conduct collaborative projects through other departments within institution and other institutions in order to increase the scientific output and funding.


Novel immunomodulatory therapy to prevent fetal neurologic sequelae associated with Zika infection
AAOGF Bridge Fund
PI: Burd


Effect of pharmacologic interventions on inflammation-induced brain injury in a preterm labor murine model: Long term neurologic implications of intrauterine magnesium sulfate and betamethasone exposure

SG5P Grant
Department of Defense
$48,000/year (to JHU)
PI: Thagard
Site PI, 5% effort


Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO) Medical Education Endowment Fund Grant Program to develop a series of short videos with companion teaching scripts covering basic sciences topics to vertically integrate into the Obstetrics and Gynecology Clerkshi
PI: Hueppchen
Co-I, 2%


SRI Meeting: Training and Development in the Reproductive Sciences
PI: England
Co-I, 2%

7/1/16- 1/31/19

In-utero characterization of embryonic mouse brain development and injury using MRI
R21 NS098018
PI: Wu

The major goal of this project is to establish an integrated imaging platform for in utero monitoring of the embryonic mouse brain development and injury (in utero LPS model). Co-I, 10%

7/1/14 – 6/30/19

Effect of Supplementation of Fluoride on Maternal Periodontal Health, Preterm Delivery, and Perinatal Well-Being
Hartwell-Groves Foundation
PI, 10% effort



Maternal stress and preterm birth: role of genome and epigenome
PI: Hong
Co-I, 2% effort


Impact of immune changes of pregnancy on tuberculosis
PI: Gupta
Co-I, 2.5%


Collection of samples from pregnant women for the evaluation of preeclampsia biomarkers
PI: Burd$58,000
PI, 2%

4/01/2016 – 3/31/2021

Preterm birth, maternal and cord blood metabolome, and child metabolic risk
PI: Wang, X/Hu, F
Co-I, 3%

7/1/16- 6/30/21

Prenatal stress and antidepressant effects on offspring brain development
RO1 MH106806A1
PI: Bonnin
Site PI, 10%

4/1/2019 - 3/31/2022

Placental determinants of neonatal immune function in maternal HIV infection
$212,510 (total per year)
PI: Burd/Mathad
PI, 10%


Assessing real world use of pharmaceuticals among pregnant and lactating people
CERSI Collaborators: Burd, Ladd-Acosta, Volk, Wang, Fallin
FDA collaborators: Johnson, Leishear, Liu, Nugent
Co-PI, 3%


Maternal-fetal AHR signaling in the pathogenesis and treatment of necrotizing enterocolitis
PI: Hackam
Co-I, 1%


Early life origins of ASD: Role of maternal and cord blood metabolome, placental histology and fetal growth trajectory
PI: Wang
Co-I, 3%



ORigins of Health and Resilience in Development (ORCHARD) cohort
JHU Discovery Award
PI: Burd/Wills-Karp/Fallin/X.Wang

1/1/12 – 12/31/12

IL1β Regulation of Perinatal Brain Injury
Passano Foundation/JHU Clinician Scientist Award
PI: Burd
75% effort