SSR 2014 - Meet the Plenary Speakers

John K. Amory, M.D.

John K. Amory, M.D.

John K. Amory, M.D. graduated magna cum laude in biology from Harvard University and obtained his Medical Degree from the University of California, San Francisco, where he also completed his residency in internal medicine. He is currently Professor of Medicine and Section Head of General Internal Medicine at the University of Washington, where he works as an attending physician on the inpatient medicine wards and in the General Internal Medicine Clinic. His research interests are the development of novel forms of male contraception and new approaches to the treatment of men with infertility. Dr. Amory has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers in the field of male reproduction, and holds current funding from the NIH for contraceptive research. He lives in Seattle with his wife and two sons.

Role at SSR 2014: President's Symposium: "Novel ALDH1A2 Inhibitors for Male Contraception." (see full schedule for details).

 

Enrica Bianchi, Ph.D.

Enrica Bianchi, Ph.D.

Enrica Bianchi, Ph.D. graduated with a degree in Biological Science from the University of Bologna (Italy) and obtained her Ph.D. in Reproduction and Development at the University of Rome Tor Vergata in 2008. The molecular mechanisms of fertilization, as well as the cells involved in this event—the sperm and egg—are her main research interests. As a Ph.D. student and as a postdoctoral research fellow, Dr. Bianchi has studied female fertility and fertilization. Before moving to the UK in 2011, she investigated the reproductive defects in mice that were deficient in a gene encoding an RNA-binding protein. At the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (Hinxton, England), she joined Dr Gavin Wright's group to study the molecular basis of mammalian sperm-egg recognition. By combining large-scale protein interaction screening approaches and molecular techniques available in the Cell Surface Signalling Laboratory, Dr. Bianchi recently identified the egg receptor Juno (formerly known as folate receptor 4), which is essential for fertilization and showed that it is the binding partner of the sperm protein Izumo1 (Nature 508: 483–487, 24 April 2014).

Role at SSR 2014: Anita Payne New Perspectives on Reproductive Biology "Hot Topic" Lecture. "Izumo Meets Its Match: Introducing Juno." (see full schedule for details).

 

Diana L. Blithe, Ph.D.

Diana L. Blithe, Ph.D.

Diana L. Blithe, Ph.D. serves as the Program and Scientific Director for the Contraceptive Development Research Programs of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. In addition to basic research programs to discover new targets for male or female contraception, she directs clinical development of new contraceptive products for both women and men. She has published numerous papers in the fields of biochemistry, endocrinology, glycobiology, and contraceptive research and has organized several international meetings, including three meetings on the Future of Contraception, a meeting on Progesterone Receptor Modulators and the Endometrium, and a meeting on Contraception and Obesity. Dr. Blithe has served on the editorial boards of The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, and Endocrine.

Role at SSR 2014: President's Symposium: "Making Contraceptive Development Greener." (see full schedule for details).

 

José F Cordero, M.D., M.P.H.

José F. Cordero, M.D., M.P.H.

José F. Cordero, M.D., M.P.H. is the Dean of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Graduate School of Public Health at the Medical Sciences Campus. Dr. Cordero's current research focuses on the risk factors and prevention of preterm births. He serves as Co-Principal investigator of the Puerto Rico Testsite for Exploring Contamination Threats (PROTECT). This research program, funded by the National Institutes of Health, Superfund Research Program, examines environmental risk factors for preterm births.

Dr. Cordero served for 27 years in the US Public Health Service at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During his years at CDC he rose to Assistant Surgeon General and held positions focused on improving the health of mothers, children, and adults in programs such as immunizations, birth defects, and disabilities. In 1994, he was appointed Deputy Director of the National Immunization Program, and in 2001 he was selected to be the founding Director of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, the position he held until his retirement. In 2008, he was called to serve in the Obama-Biden transition team for the Department of Health and Human Services. He also serves as National Trustee of the March of Dimes, a foundation with a mission of helping mothers have full-term pregnancies and research the problems that threaten the health of babies.

Role at SSR 2014: Diversity Lunch Symposium: "Risk Factors for Preterm Births in Puerto Rico: From Health Disparities to Endocrine Disruptors." (see full schedule for details).

 

Anna Glasier, M.D.

Anna Glasier, M.D.

Anna Glasier, M.D. trained in obstetrics and gynecology in Edinburgh, Scotland. After subspecialty training in Reproductive Medicine, she became a clinical scientist in the MRC Unit of Reproductive Biology, and held the position of Director of Family Planning & Well Woman Services for Lothian from 1990 until 2010. She was awarded an OBE for services to Women’s Health in 2005. Dr. Glasier is an honorary professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Edinburgh. Her research career has been in reproductive health, particularly in contraceptive development and in the delivery of contraceptive services. She is a world expert on emergency contraception and was instrumental in its deregulation to over-the counter status. She works with a number of international organizations, including the Population Council and the World Health Organization.

Role at SSR 2014: Keynote Address: "Increasing Global Contraceptive Use." (see full schedule for details).

 

Richard E. Green, Ph.D.

Richard E. Green, Ph.D.

Richard E. Green, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Biomolecular Engineering at the Baskin School of Engineering, University of California Santa Cruz. His research interests are genomics—especially as related to human evolution, evolution of gene expression, alternative splicing, and population genetics. Dr. Green collaborates with fellow researcher and co-PI Dr. Beth Shapiro in the Paleogenomics Lab at UCSC, where studies are underway on human and pathogen evolution, population genetics, and environmental transformation versus genomic change. Dr. Green’s latest projects have included analysis of the archaic human genome, the Genomes10K project, and comparative genomics of Crocodilia.

Role at SSR 2014: State-of-the-Art Lecture: "The Porous Barriers to Reproductive Isolation: Lessons from Genome Sequencing in Humans and Bears." (see full schedule for details).

 

Kanako Hayashi, Ph.D.

Kanako Hayashi, Ph.D.

Kanako Hayashi, Ph.D., shares: "I received my Ph.D. in 2002 in Japan, and then was working with Drs. Spencer and Bazer at Texas A&M University as a postdoc and a research assistant professor. In 2008, I moved to Southern Illinois where I am currently an assistant professor in the Department of Physiology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. The major research focus in my lab is endometrial and ovarian cancer as well as uterine biology, especially to discover novel mechanisms and targets for developing therapeutic strategies."

Role at SSR 2014: SSR New Investigator Lecture: "The Impact of Epithelial Genes in Endometrial and Ovarian Cancer." (see full schedule for details).

 

Jeffrey T. Jensen, M.D.

Jeffrey T. Jensen, M.D.

Jeffrey T. Jensen, M.D. received his B.S. degree in biology from Stanford, his M.D. degree from Emory University, the M.P.H. degree from the University of Washington, and completed internship at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU). After military service in the Navy, he joined the faculty at OHSU. Dr. Jensen maintains an active clinical practice and serves as Director of the Women’s Health Research Unit at OHSU. His primary clinical research interests include contraception and vulvar disease. Dr. Jensen is also involved in pre-clinical investigations of novel contraceptives at the Oregon National Primate Research Center.

Role at SSR 2014: President's Symposium: "The Future of Female Contraception: New Targets, More Choice." (see full schedule for details).

 

Robert J. Norman, M.D.

Robert J. Norman, M.D.

Robert J. Norman, M.D. holds a personal chair as Professor for Reproductive and Periconceptual Medicine at the University of Adelaide in South Australia and is a subspecialist in reproductive medicine (CREI) and in endocrine biochemistry (FRCPA). He was Director of the Robinson Institute at the University of Adelaide, a collection of over 450 researchers in reproductive health and regenerative medicine. He has published more than 420 peer-reviewed publications and one book. Dr. Norman has served on the editorial board of major endocrine and reproductive journals. His major research contributions have been in IVF and reproductive endocrinology (particularly in PCOS), the effect of lifestyle on reproductive outcomes, and periconception medicine. He is an active reproductive medicine specialist. He serves on the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council’s research and embryo licensing committees. He was awarded the Order of Australia (AO) and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine Distinguished Researcher Award in 2013.

Role at SSR 2014: ASRM Exchange Lecture: "From Little Things, Big Things Grow—The Importance of Peri-conception Medicine and Biology to Human Health." (see full schedule for details).

 

Christina C. Wang, M.D.

Christina C. Wang, M.D.

Christina C. Wang, M.D. Professor of Medicine and Assistant Dean in Clinical and Translational Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, is an internationally renowned andrologist/endocrinologist and a clinical and basic investigator/educator. Her current clinical research studies include androgen replacement therapy, hormonal male contraceptive development, androgen metabolism, aging in men, and environment effects on sperm quality. She is a co-director of the NICHD-supported Contraceptive Clinical Trials Network Centers at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Center at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Supported by several NIH grants, she has aggressively advocated increased opportunities for women and minorities in biomedical research.

Role at SSR 2014: President's Symposium: "Hormonal Male Contraception on the Horizon." (see full schedule for details).

 

Sir Ian Wilmut, OBE, FRS, Ph.D.

Sir Ian Wilmut, OBE, FRS, Ph.D.

Sir Ian Wilmut, OBE, FRS, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus in the Centre for Regenerative Medicine of the University of Edinburgh, where his research has been concerned with the use of human cells to study the molecular mechanisms that cause ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) and identify drugs that are able to reduce the debilitating symptoms. Current research aims to provide cells that can be used to treat liver failure. Dr. Wilmut was trained in animal science at the University of Nottingham before completing a Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge with E.J. “Chris” Polge and a post-doctoral fellowship with L.E.A. “Tim” Rowson when he carried out the research that produced the first calves from frozen and thawed embryos. From Cambridge, he moved to Roslin Institute near Edinburgh in 1973, where he was leader of the team that produced Dolly the cloned sheep, the first clone from an adult animal.

Roles at SSR 2014: Historical Perspectives Lecture: "History of Nuclear Transfer" and Heritage Luncheon: "Professor Chris Polge, FRS: Pioneer, Mentor, and Friend." (see full schedule for details).

 

Milo C. Wiltbank, Ph.D.

Milo C. Wiltbank, Ph.D.

Milo C. Wiltbank, Ph.D. is Professor in the Department of Dairy Science and the Endocrinology-Reproductive Physiology Program in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Dr. Wiltbank’s work addresses the mechanisms regulating ovarian function. Basic studies focus on the regulation of hormonal receptors in the corpus luteum and developing ovarian follicle, and applied studies focus on development of methods that allow timed artificial insemination and improve pregnancy rates in dairy cattle.

Role at SSR 2014: AgResearch Lecture: "How Knowledge of Bovine Reproductive Physiology and Development of Reproductive Technologies Will Help to Feed a Growing World Population." (see full schedule for details).

 

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