Melissa L. Russo is a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine (high-risk obstetrics) and clinical genetics. She currently works at Women and Infants Hospital, an affiliate of Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She pursued her residency in obstetrics and gynecology and fellowship training in maternal fetal medicine and clinical genetics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. Her current research, funded by the Marfan Foundation Clinical Grant, is centered on pregnant women with connective tissue disorders and aortic disease including Marfan, Loeys-Dietz and vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndromes. This research is focused on the effects of pregnancy on the risk for aortic dissection, determining the risk factors for aortic dissection in pregnancy, and better characterizing obstetrical and cardiovascular outcomes for the mom and fetus during pregnancy. Her leadership roles include serving on the Quality of Life Expert Panel and Professional Advisory Board for the National Marfan Foundation, member of the ACOG genetics committee and member of numerous research consortiums surrounding her field of interest including HOPE, ROPAC, MAC, GenTACAlliance and vEDS Research Consortium. Her goals are to 1) empower women with these disorders with knowledge to allow them to make decisions and advocate about their reproductive choices and care during pregnancy and 2) educate health care providers on recognition and management of these disorders in pregnancy. She also cares with women with all types of connective tissue conditions and is an advocate for optimal care for these patients.