Mehret Birru Talabi, MD, PhD

  • Assistant Professor of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology
  • Associate Program Director, UPMC Rheumatology Fellowship

Mehret Birru Talabi, MD, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology. Her research is focused on optimizing reproductive health management and health care for people with rheumatic diseases and other chronic medical conditions that increase the risk of adverse pregnancy and perinatal outcomes.

Education & Training

  • BA (Biology, English), Kenyon College, 2002
  • PhD (Public Health), University of Pittsburgh, 2009
  • MD, University of Pittsburgh, 2011
  • Internal Medicine Residency, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 2014
  • Rheumatology Fellowship, UPMC Rheumatology Division, 2016
  • K12, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research, University of Pittsburgh, 2019
  • K23, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS K23AR075057-03), 2020
  • R21, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD: R21HD109440-01), 2022

Representative Publications

Birru Talabi M, Clowse MEB, Blalock SJ, Switzer G, Yu L, Chodoff A, Borrero S. Development of ReproKnow, a reproductive knowledge assessment for women with rheumatic diseases. BMC Rheumatology. 2019;3:40.

ReproKnow, an assessment developed to evaluate the reproductive health knowledge of women with rheumatic diseases, may be a promising tool to identify knowledge deficits for future educational interventions.

Birru Talabi M, Clowse MEB, Blalock SJ, Hamm M, Borrero S. Perspectives of adult rheumatologists regarding family planning counseling and care: a qualitative study. Arthritis Care & Research. 2020;72(3):452-458.

Semi-structured interviews among 12 rheumatologists revealed that they feel a sense of responsibility to provide some aspects of family planning counseling and reproductive health care to reproductive‐age female patients, but rarely refer patients to gynecologists for contraceptive care.

Birru Talabi M, Clowse MEB, Blalock SJ, Moreland L, Siripong N, Borrero S. Contraception use among reproductive-age women with rheumatic diseases. Arthritis Care & Research. 2019;71(8):1132-1140.

A study of administrative data of 2,455 women with a rheumatic disease diagnoses and at least 2 outpatient rheumatology visits revealed low use of prescription contraception.

Birru Talabi M, Eudy AM, Jayasundara M, Haroun T, Nowell WB, Curtis JR, Crow-Hercher R, White CW, Ginsberg S, Clowse MEB. Pregnancy, periods, and "the pill": exploring the reproductive experiences of women with inflammatory arthritis. ACR Open Rheumatology. 2019;1(2):125-132.

Findings from a survey of 267 women aged 18-50 with inflammatory arthritis suggest that infertility but also potentially fear and anxiety related to their diagnoses, may affect their family sizes.

Click here for a more complete bibliography of Dr. Birru Talabi’s works.

Research Interests

  • Rheumatology
  • Reproductive health
  • Women’s health