Alumna Helps Provide Hope
New research initiative supports women struggling with infertility
Kristin Posey Wallis, a registered nurse and 2004 nursing graduate, is part of a team at Baylor Scott & White Research Institute focused on aspiring mothers.
She's helping run a clinical trial that aims to give women with uterine-factor infertility—a condition that means they have nonfunctioning or nonexistent uteruses—the chance to become pregnant and carry those pregnancies to term. The medical team will implant wombs in 10 women with uterine factor infertility.
The work, which will eventually include pregnancy inductions, builds on a clinical trial conducted in Sweden during a span of more than 10 years. That trial resulted in seven successful womb transplants and five live births.
As part of the womb transplant team, Wallis serves as the uterine transplant research nurse coordinator. In her role, she has screened about 300 donors and recipients. She also coordinates and completes all appointments with physicians in preparation for surgery and after. Much of her work centers on patient care: educating the patients and the staff caring for them and supporting patients from screening and intake through surgery and recovery.
"I was excited to be chosen and honored to work with some of the brightest physicians at Baylor," she says. "I had to hit the ground running as we worked quickly to open the study up for screening. At times there is more work than hours in the day, but I really enjoy what I'm doing."
The team has completed the first four living donor uterine transplants in the United States. One patient is progressing well and shows no signs of rejection.
"It's been such an amazing opportunity to be part of something so innovative and new," Wallis says. "I learn so much each day about research, transplants, and myself."