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Odibo named Lang endowed chair in OB-GYN

Physician-scientist noted for expertise in prenatal diagnosis, fetal care

by Diane Duke WilliamsDecember 9, 2022


Anthony Odibo, MD, an internationally recognized expert in maternal-fetal medicine, has been named the Virginia S. Lang Endowed Chair in Obstetrics & Gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The endowed chair was established in 1997 with a generous gift from the Lang family through The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital. The honor recognizes Odibo’s expertise in prenatal diagnosis and fetal care.

“Dr. Odibo is a leader in the field of maternal-fetal medicine, especially in the area of fetal care,” said Dineo Khabele, MD, the Mitchell and Elaine Yanow Professor and head of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology. “He also is a prolific researcher and has a reputation as an outstanding mentor and role model for residents, fellows and faculty in his field. He is deeply deserving of this endowed chair, and we are grateful for the Lang family support.”

In 2021, Odibo became director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine & Ultrasound in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology. He also serves as vice chair of obstetrics in the department.

Odibo has an active clinical practice with a focus on prenatal diagnosis and the treatment of abnormalities in utero, including twin-twin transfusion and urinary tract obstruction.

He studies the effectiveness of fetal surgeries and diagnostic techniques before birth. One research area focuses on the use of microvascular imaging tools and biomarkers in the blood to determine whether smoking and abnormalities in the tiniest blood vessels of the placenta cause smaller fetuses. His goal is to design a reliable method to predict poor fetal growth earlier in pregnancy. This would enable physicians to intervene earlier to help prevent stillbirth, low oxygen levels, cesarean delivery and other negative outcomes.

The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine thank the Lang family for its support of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology as it continues to provide high-quality patient care and advance reproductive health through research and training,” said John Lynch, MD, president of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the foundation. “We are grateful for the Lang family’s impact to further the foundation’s mission to enrich lives, save lives and transform heath care and hope this appointment will advance Dr. Odibo’s work to help women have better pregnancy outcomes.”

Virginia S. Lang founded and operated an employment agency and temporary placement services in St. Louis. She married Ira Lang, owner of Lang-Kohn Inc., a dress manufacturing business, in the 1940s.

The couple were donors to Jewish Hospital of St. Louis (now Barnes-Jewish Hospital) in the 1960s and 1970s. A bequest from the estate of Virginia S. Lang also established the Ira M. Lang Endowed Chair in Nephrology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in 1988.

Before coming to Washington University, Odibo was on the faculty of the University of South Florida in Tampa and was medical director of the Fetal Care Center of Tampa Bay. Before that, he served on the faculties of Washington University and the University of Pennsylvania. In his previous position at Washington University, Odibo was director of the Division of Ultrasound & Genetics and vice chair for women’s and fetal imaging.

He is editor-in-chief of the journal Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology. Odibo also is a fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Odibo earned his medical degree from the University of Benin in Nigeria. He completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, England, and a research fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine at Kings College Hospital, London. He then completed a clinical fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, a second residency in OB-GYN at Thomas Jefferson University and a master’s degree in clinical epidemiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

About Washington University School of Medicine

WashU Medicine is a global leader in academic medicine, including biomedical research, patient care and educational programs with 2,700 faculty. Its National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding portfolio is the fourth largest among U.S. medical schools, has grown 54% in the last five years, and, together with institutional investment, WashU Medicine commits well over $1 billion annually to basic and clinical research innovation and training. Its faculty practice is consistently within the top five in the country, with more than 1,790 faculty physicians practicing at over 60 locations and who are also the medical staffs of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals of BJC HealthCare. WashU Medicine has a storied history in MD/PhD training, recently dedicated $100 million to scholarships and curriculum renewal for its medical students, and is home to top-notch training programs in every medical subspecialty as well as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and audiology and communications sciences.