2021 SSR Contraceptive Symposia Series

Contraception plays a vital role in family planning and improving health and economic opportunities for women.  Yet a lack of appropriate choice and access means that the contraceptive needs of hundreds of millions of couples wishing to avoid pregnancy go unmet in both developed and developing countries.

Thanks to the generous support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Society for the Study of Reproduction is excited to present a series of virtual symposia focused on novel contraceptive discovery. 

Building on the success of the first Contraceptive Symposium in July 2020, and with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, SSR will be hosting a second symposium in July-August of 2021.  This three-part symposium series will focus on cutting edge-drug research in contraceptive development, including drug discovery, drug delivery, and more.  More details to follow as the program develops!  The Annual SSR Business Meeting will be held in conjunction with this symposium and will share timely updates to members on the financial and general health of SSR and new initiatives that our Board of Directors are working on to maintain membership engagement. This also will allow for the change of SSR officers which normally occurs at our Annual SSR meeting – now scheduled for December 15-18. Please mark your calendars so that you can attend this exciting Symposium and the SSR Annual Business Meeting. 

We look forward to welcoming participants from all areas of reproductive biology research and all geographic regions to engage in exploring challenges and creating opportunities for new innovations in this important and underrepresented field of study.

Keynote Speakers


July 21st

Jenny A. Higgins, PhD
University of Wisconsin-Madison 

July 28th

Francesca Duncan, PhD
Northwestern University

August 4thPaula Cohen

Paula Cohen, PhD
Cornell University


Registration is now OpenRegistration will be free for all SSR Members.  The cost for non-SSR Members is $100 and $30 for Trainees.  Registration to the Symposium includes all three sessions and the business meeting.  If you have any questions regarding your membership, please contact membership@ssr.org   

Register Now!

* Once you complete your registration, you will be emailed a registration link where you will need to enter your email and name to receive your individual access link and download the calendar invitation. 



Wednesday, July 21st  

User Needs for Improved Contraceptive Choice         
4:00-6:00 PM (EST)

4:00 - Welcome and Opening Comments,
Diane Duffy, Eastern Virginia Medical School 

4:05 -
Jenny Higgins, PhD, MPH , University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Sex Matters: Sexual Acceptability’s Role in Contraceptive Needs, Choices, and Behaviors

4:50 -Giovanni Traverso,  MB, BChir, PhD, Massachusets Institute of Technology, USA
Novel Drug Delivery for a Once-a-Month Oral Contraceptive

5:05- Heather Jaspan,
University of Washington, USA
Effects of Contraception on Mucosal Microbiome

5:20 - David Turok
, Univeristy of Utah, USA
Utah - Contraception As You Want It

5:35 - Oral Presentation 

5:45 - Oral Presentation 

5:50 - Closing Comments 

Wednesday, July 28th

Leveraging Unique Female Physiology To Discover New Contraceptive Targets

4:00-6:00 PM (EST)

4:00 Welcome and Opening Comments,
Darryl Russell, The Univerity of Adelaide, Austrailia 

4:05 Francesca Duncan,
Northwestern University, USA
Harnessing In Vitro Follicle Development and Ovulation for Ovarian Contraceptive Discovery

4:50 - Joy Winuthayanon
, Washington State University 
Blocking Semen Liquefaction: The Development of a Novel Contraceptive for Women

5:05 - Eric Reiter, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), France 

Towards Nonhormonal Contraception by Nanobody-Mediated Modulation of Ovarian GPCRs

5:20 - Leo Han, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), USA
Development of High Throughput Screening for Cervix-Based Contraceptives

5:35- Oral Presentation 

5:45 - Oral Presentation

5:50 - Closing Comments 

Wednesday, August 4th

Application of Novel Models of Male Reproductive Function for Contraceptive Discovery

4:00-6:00 PM (EST)

4:00 Welcome and Opening Comments

4:05 - Paula Cohen,
Cornell University, USA
The Boys Are Back In Town: (Re-)Visiting Strategies For Male Contraception

4:50 - Maxwell Edmonds, Northwestern University, USA 
Engineering the Testis: Current State and Future Perspectives

5:05 - Margarida Fardilha, University of University of Aveiro, Portugal
Modulation of sperm Motility with Bioportide that Target Protein Phosphatase 1 Complexes

5:20 - Jeffrey Lee, University of Toronto, Canada 
Nanobodies to Block Sperm-Egg Fusion

5:35- Oral Presentation 

5:45 - Oral Presentation 

5:55 - Closing Comments 

Thursday, August 5th

SSR Annual Business Meeting 

4:00-6:00 PM (EST)

Agenda Coming Soon!

Submit Your Abstract

Now accepting abstracts! The SSR Contraception Program Committee welcomes abstracts reporting new basic, clinical, and/or translational research in any field of reproduction. that may have relevance to contraceptive innovation You do not need to be a member of SSR to submit an abstract. There are no restrictions on species investigated. Please adhere to all rules for the submission and format of abstracts. Failure to comply may be cause for rejection. The deadline to submit your abstract is July 2nd, 2021 11:59(PM). View Abstract Guidelines and Sample Abstracts. 

Submit Your Abstract


Three E/MCR awards of $1,200 for travel support to the 2022 SSR meeting will be offered.  One presenter whose abstract was selected for an oral talk will be selected from each symposium session for the best abstract/ presentation.

Three E/MCR Poster awards.  Three outstanding poster presenters will be selected and will receive a free SSR membership. 

The SSR Contraception Program Committee will select finalists on the basis of an evaluation of the abstracts submitted for the competition. Each award will be announced at the end of each symposium.

E-Poster Sessions

The e-poster hall will be open 24-hrs a day from July 26-August 5th. SSR will be hosting the posters online using our e-poster platform which will allow viewers to send questions to poster authors and view the video/audio narratives with each poster.

Register Now

Symposium Registration

If you are registered, please click here to access the sessions.