Portrait of Derek Boeldt
Derek Boeldt, PhD
Assistant Professor
Reproductive Sciences


Office Address

Meriter Hospital
202 S. Park (Meriter)
Madison, WI, 53715

Administrative Assistant

B.S. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
PhD University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

UW–Madison Dept. Ob-Gyn – Douglas W. Laube Best Trainee Paper Award
Perinatal Research Society – Associate Member Best Paper Award (Basic Science Track)
UW–Madison Dept. Ob-Gyn – Chester B. Martin Graduate Training Program Mentorship Award
Top Downloaded Authors – Journal of Endocrinology: “Vascular adaptationin pregnancy and endothelial dysfunction in preeclampsia”
Most Cited Papers – Journal of Endocrinology (Impact factor 4.012): “Vascular adaptation in pregnancy and endothelial dysfunction in preeclampsia”
Most Cited Papers – Journal of Endocrinology (Impact factor 4.012): “Vascular adaptation in pregnancy and endothelial dysfunction in preeclampsia”
Accepted to and participated in Early Career Reviewer Program – PN Study Section NICHD

Member – Integrated Program in Endocrinology (IPEnd) 

Full Member – Society for Reproductive Investigation

Boeldt Lab research

Research in the Boeldt Lab is focused on development of new therapies for preeclampsia, a pregnancy-related disorder characterized by high blood pressure, kidney and liver dysfunction, and often small and premature babies. Preeclampsia affects 3-5% of pregnancies in the United States and to date, there is no effective treatment.

Our research is primarily interested in how to target endothelial cells with new or existing drugs to combat the symptoms of preeclampsia. Endothelial cells are the single cell layer that lines the inside of blood vessels and largely dictates blood vessel function and are widely known to behave abnormally in preeclamptic pregnancies. There are a number of ways that endothelial cells may be driven to behave abnormally in preeclampsia.

We are investigating how an over-activated immune system may be 1) directly interacting with the endothelial cells to cause inflammation and endothelial dysfunction, or 2) indirectly through increased cytokine release, causing endothelial cell confusion and abnormal function. Understanding how these processes are occurring during preeclamptic pregnancies will help us design drugs to precisely target the cause of and progression of preeclampsia.

OBS&GYN 710 - Reproductive Endocrine Physiology

Fall Semester

Course Director

Fundamental Endocrinology I & II, Lactation, Barker Hypothesis I & II, Pathophysiology of Preeclampsia, Endocrine Disruptors, Case Studies

OBS&GYN 711 - Advanced Reproductive Endocrine Physiology

Spring - Odd years

Comparative Placentation and Placental Endocrinology

Rengarajan, Virumbrales-Muñoz, Boeldt publish in Lab on a Chip

Aishwarya Rengarajan, PhD, María Virumbrales-Muñoz, PhD, assistant professor in the UW Department of Ob-Gyn Division of Reproductive Sciences, and Derek Boeldt, PhD, assistant professor in the UW Department of Ob-Gyn Division of Reproductive Sciences, co-authored a new article published in the journal Lab on a Chip. Co-authors include Hannah E. Goldblatt, CNA, and David J. Beebe, PhD.

In “Immune cells and inflammatory mediators cause endothelial dysfunction in a vascular microphysiological system,” Rengarajan, Virumbrales-Muñoz, Boeldt, and co-authors evaluated the effect of inflammation and cardiovascular disease on vascular microphysiological systems (MPS). Their research found that inflammation contributes to endothelial dysfunction by disrupting the endothelial barrier.

“An inflammatory mixture (TNFα, IL-6, VEGF-A – 10 ng ml−1 each) induces endothelial dysfunction in vascular MPS via disrupted network level Ca2+ activity with 1 h exposure and via increased permeability with 48 hour exposure.”

Read the whole article here.

**by Ob-Gyn Communications Intern Paige Stevenson

Boeldt awarded Office of Vice Chancellor for Research grant

Congratulations to Derek Boeldt, PhD, assistant professor in the Division of Reproductive Sciences! Boeldt received a UW-Madison Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, Fall Research Competition award for the project “Endothelial immunomodulatory phenotypes may underlie preeclampsia”. 

The award supports one year of research associate salary and fringe benefits, from July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2025.  

Incredible work, Dr. Boeldt! 

UW Ob-Gyn named Preeclampsia Center of Excellence by Preeclampsia Foundation

After a highly successful visit from Preeclampsia Foundation CEO Eleni Tsigas in the summer of 2022, the Department of Ob-Gyn was named a Preeclampsia Center of Excellence!

In June 2022, Kara Hoppe, DO, MS, associate professor of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Ian Bird, PhD, professor of Reproductive Sciences, and Derek Boeldt, PhD, assistant professor of Reproductive Sciences, presented their respective clinical and foundational preeclampsia research to Tsigas. The visit also included a roundtable lunch with patients and nurses and a site visit to EPIC, where Hoppe served as the physician representative.

The visit was a tremendous effort from all involved and this Preeclampsia Center of Excellence designation is well-deserved!

Boeldt earns UPH-Meriter Foundation grant for preeclampsia research

Exciting news from Derek Boeldt, PhD, assistant professor in the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Reproductive Sciences: he received a UnityPoint Health-Meriter Foundation grant for the project “Developing a Novel Diagnostic Test for the Early Detection of Preeclampsia”!

The grant will support a research project that will investigate a novel approach to develop specific biomarkers for early and efficient detection of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a major disorder of pregnancy that has severe health effects on mother and baby. Currently, there are no effective cures for this disorder or biomarkers that can be used for early clinical diagnosis.

Congratulations, Dr. Boeldt!

Grand Rounds: Department Research Day

On May 13, 2021, the UW Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology hosted Department Research Day, featuring exceptional presentations on fundamental, clinical, and quality improvement research. Recorded presentations from Department Research Day are available now.

To start the morning, Kimberly Gregory, MD, MPH of Cedars-Sinai Obstetrics and Gynecology Department presented the keynote lecture “Patient Reported Outcomes in Ob/Gyn: What are they? Who Cares? And Why?”.

In the lecture, Gregory differentiated between three measures of patient outcomes, outlined types of patient-reported outcomes used in ob-gyn clinical care, and described how these measures can drive quality improvement efforts.

Other presentations at Department Research Day included:

“Bone Loss and Osteoporosis Risk in Younger Gynecologic Cancer Patients”, presented by graduating gynecologic oncology fellow Janelle Sobecki, MD, MA

“Connecting the Dots: The Role of Endothelial-Immune Interaction in the Pathophysiology of Preeclampsia”, presented by Derek Boeldt, PhD, of the Division of Reproductive Sciences

“Post-Cesarean Pain”, presented by Katie Antony, MD, of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine

You can watch the lectures from Department Research Day here.

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