Medical complication associated with preterm birth is the leading cause of newborn mortality in the United States. Preterm infants that survive are at risk for learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, vision and hearing loss, respiratory and digestive problems. In 2012, more than 11% of US births were premature. According to the March of Dimes website Nevada is reported to have one of the highest preterm birth rates in the United States (13.8% in 2010). This health problem disproportionately affects black women (17.7%) and uninsured women (29.7%). Although the etiology of preterm birth is complex, disparate risk factors may converge on specific effector pathways in the uterine myometrium to influence contractility and birth timing. Research in my laboratory is focused on identifying signaling pathways that are activated in human myometrium during preterm labor. The long term goal of this work is to identify potential molecular targets for regulating uterine contractility to halt preterm labor.