Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics

How it Works

EmPOWR enrolls women aged 18 years and older that are being treated by Emory Gynecologists and Obstetricians.
The initial contact for recruitment will be made by the investigator or study coordinator during the patient's routine care appointment with an Emory GYN/OB provider, including gynecologic visits and obstetrics appointments.
After patient consent is received by the study team, biological samples will be collected during a routine care or medically-indicated procedure ordered by the patient’s physician. The patient will be asked to donate an additional sample or the unused portion of their existing sample from that procedure to our repository for storage and future research.


What is Collected

Health information will be collected for the EmPOWR Registry through medical records review by a trained clinical coordinator.
Biological samples that are collected for the EmPOWR Repository include:

  • Blood (serum and plasma)
  • Vaginal swabs
  • Urine
  • Delivery products including umbilical cord blood (serum and plasma), amniotic fluid, and placenta
  • Tissue specimens obtained during a medically-indicated procedure such as a biopsy or surgery

Storage and Sample Use

Subjects' health information and biologic data will be stored in a controlled-access database in a secure laboratory at Emory University. The data and specimens that are collected will be given an EmPOWR Identification number, which will be maintained separately from the subject's identifiers, in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Only Emory researchers who apply for and get permission to use the data for a specific research project will be able to access the registry & repository. When data is shared for research purposes, the subjects' health information and biological specimens will not be labeled with their names or other information that could be used to identify them.
Biological specimens will be stored in the EmPOWR Repository until no longer needed. A sample will be destroyed when the quality of that sample is no longer usable. If a patient revokes authorization for Emory researchers to use her donation, then that biological sample will be destroyed and not used for any future research studies.


Benefits for Future Research

Part of the scientific research process involves seeking out samples to use for experiments. The EmPOWR Initiative will help to accelerate this process by having data readily available for research. Thereby, Emory investigators can utilize banked information and specimens from the EmPOWR Registry & Repository to support their important work seeking causes and treatments for gynecologic and obstetric problems. Your donated specimens enable research breakthroughs. 


EmPOWR Clinical Research Internship

The Emory Prospective Opportunity for Women’s health Research (EmPOWR) Initiative collects & stores data for scientific investigations and stimulates greater inclusion of women in research. It includes a registry for storing health information and a repository for storing biospecimens donated from Emory Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics (Gyn/Ob) patients. This program was designed not only to contribute to scientific discovery, but to empower more women to be a part of groundbreaking research.

Oversight Committee

The Oversight Committee (OC) is made up of our two principal investigators as well as other scientists and clinicians. Members are invited to join by the PIs and appointed for a 2-year term. The OC meets on a monthly basis to oversee the operations of the registry & repository and review all pending access requests and any new study materials.
For more information:  EmPOWR Oversight Committee Responsibilities