Gwen  Latendresse, PhD CNM FACNM
  • Director, Nurse Midwifery DNP Specialty Track, College Of Nursing
  • Associate Professor, College Of Nursing

Research Summary

Complex interactions between environment, genetics, & the maternal-fetal-placental unit provide compelling rationale for use of bio-behavioral and epigenetics perspectives in pregnancy outcome research. My research examines the impact of environmental exposures (i.e. maternal depression, chronic stress, SSRI use) on pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, postpartum depression and placental gene expression. Visit my Research Website:


  • BSN, Nursing, Metro State University- Denver
  • MS, Nurse-Midwifery, University of Utah
  • PhD, College of Nursing, University of Utah. Project: Bio-psych stress measure associations in mid pregnancy
  • Post-Doc Fellow, Summer Genetics Institute, National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health


Gwen Latendresse is an assistant professor at the University of Utah, College of Nursing. After many years of providing clinical care as a Certified Nurse-Midwife, she returned to academia and completed her PhD in 2008. Her post doctoral training included completion of a fellowship at the Summer Genetics Institute at the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research during 2009. Her research interest in adverse pregnancy outcomes has led her to biobehavioral investigations of chronic maternal stress and environmental exposures during pregnancy, as well as potential interventions. Current research projects include the study of epigenetic regulation of placental gene expression in response to environmental exposures (i.e. maternal use of SSRIs) and early pregnancy interventions (i.e. mindfulness-based and cognitive behavioral therapies) to reduce the risk of maternal depression during and after preganncy. She enjoys including undergraduate and graduate students in her research efforts.

Career Highlights

A Certified Nurse-Midwife since 1988, Gwen Latendresse has provided clinical care to women in a variety of midwifery settings - hospital, birth center, public, faculty, private, and her independently owned midwifery practice in Salt Lake City until 2004.  A decision to become engaged in research and complete a PhD earned her several awards, scholarships and fellowships, including “Outstanding Doctoral Student” in 2006, “Outstanding Dissertation” in 2008, the “Mary Ann Shah Best New Author” award in 2006, and funding from the March of Dimes, the American College of Nurse-Midwives Foundation, and the National Institute of Nursing Research/National Institutes of Health.

She completed her PhD in 2008 and became an Assistant Professor at the College of Nursing, primarily conducting research, teaching, and providing service to the academic and professional communities.  She was promoted to Associate Professor and awared tenure in 2015. She continues to provide prenatal, postpartum, and gynecological care at University Hospital clinic 4.

In 2009 she received the Carol A Lindeman Award for a New Researcher from the Western Institute of Nursing, and in 2010 was awarded “Best Article of the Year” from the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health.


In 2010 she served on the Vanderbilt Evidence-based Practice Center AHRQ/HHS Technical Expert Panel: Progestogens for Prevention of Preterm Birth.


She authored the first "Genetics" chapter, newly introduced in the 2013 Varney's Midwifery, 5th edition, the premier text in midwifery education programs, both nationally and internationally.

She is a contributing author to chapters in several editions of the text “Pathophysiology: The biologic basis for disease in adults and children”- by McCance & Huether.


Dr. Latendresse currently engages in interdisciplinary research in collaboration with the Women, Infants & Newborns Research Innovation Team, the Pregnancy Outcomes Research Group, the Obstetrics and Gynecology Research Network, the Woman and Child Institute, and the Developmental Origins of Disease Lab.


She also serves as a member on the  multidisciplinary Personalized Healthcare Executive Advisory Board at the University of Utah.


In 2014 she was inducted into the American College of Nurse Midwives Fellowship, an honor bestowed upon those midwives whose demonstrated leadership, clinical excellence, outstanding scholarship, and professional achievements have merited special recognition both within and outside of the midwifery profession. 


Dr. Latendresse is the Director of the Nurse Midwifery & Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Program, since October, 2014.