List of Recipients

2016 Recipients

Grant: Young Investigators Achievement Award
Project: Role of Balbiani-body-associated RNP complexes in determining oocyte developmental potential
Recipient: Lei Lei, PhD
Where: University of Michigan Medical School

Lei Lei, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, and a member of the Reproductive Science Program at the University of Michigan Medical School. Her current research focuses include: 1) germ cell fate determination during mammalian oogenesis; and 2) the differentiation of ovarian somatic cells during ovarian reserve formation. Based on her recently characterized developmental process of the cytoplasm transport during mouse oocyte differentiation, Dr. Lei is investigating how ribonucleoprotein complexes are enriched and stored in the differentiating primary oocytes and their functions in determining oocyte developmental potential. Dr. Lei obtained her PhD in reproductive endocrinology and physiology at the Collage of Biological Sciences, China Agricultural University. She completed her postdoctoral trainings in reproductive biology in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University; and stem cell/developmental biology in the Department of Embryology, Carnegie Institution for Science.

Grant: Young Investigators Achievement Award
Project: The effect of superovulation on early placentation and vasculogenesis
Recipient: Monica Mainigi, MD
Where: University of Pennsylvania Medical School

Monica A. Mainigi, MD is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She obtained her MD from New York University School of Medicine followed by residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology and a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, both at the University of Pennsylvania. Following her training she completed the Reproductive Scientist Development Program. Her laboratory focuses on examining the effects of the peri-implantation environment and assisted reproductive technologies (ART) on the developing embryo and offspring using a mouse model. Her current project examines the effects of ART on angiogenesis and vasculogenesis that may lead to disorders of placentation and the adverse outcomes associated with IVF/ART.

Grant: Abby and Howard Milstein Innovation Award in Reproductive Medicine
Project: Identification of Intrafollicular Determinants Predictive of Oocyte & Embryo Developmental Potential
Recipient: Jon D. Hennebold, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator
Where: National Primate Research Center, Oregon Health & Science University

Dr. Hennebold is Professor and Chief of the Division of Reproductive & Developmental Sciences at the Oregon National Primate Research Center located at Oregon Health & Science University. He is also an adjunct faculty member in the Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Physiology & Pharmacology. Dr. Hennebold currently serves as the Director of the ONPRC Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) Core, which supports research activities involving nonhuman primate studies of reproductive biology. His current research focus includes identifying and characterizing the molecular events that are necessary for the development and maturation of the ovulatory follicle, rupture of the follicle and release of the oocyte, as well as the development and regression of the corpus luteum. Understanding these events is critical for the development of novel contraceptives as well as new approaches for the treatment of infertility. Regarding the latter, Dr. Hennebold’s recent studies have focused on the role the intrafollicular environment plays on the development of a mature oocyte capable of fertilization and subsequent embryo development. Systematic genomic and metabolomic profiling of the ovarian follicle are currently being utilized to define the molecular characteristics of the ovarian follicle that results in the release of a fertilizable and developmentally competent oocyte. Dr. Hennebold received his PhD in Immunology and Cell Biology at the Department of Pathology, University of Utah School of Medicine in 1996. Dr. Hennebold then conducted his postdoctoral training in reproductive sciences at the University of Utah Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology. In 2000, he joined ONPRC as a Staff Scientist and was promoted to Assistant Scientist in 2003.

Grant: Abby and Howard Milstein Innovation Award in Reproductive Medicine
Project: Identification of Intrafollicular Determinants Predictive of Oocyte & Embryo Developmental Potential
Recipient: Shawn L. Chavez, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator
Where: National Primate Research Center, Oregon Health & Science University

Shawn L. Chavez is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Reproductive & Developmental Sciences at the Oregon National Primate Research Center and adjunct faculty in the Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Physiology & Pharmacology at the Oregon Health & Science University. Her current research interests are focused on the genetic, epigenetic and chromosomal requirements of mammalian pre-implantation development and early cell fate decisions with particular emphasis on the molecular mechanisms and cellular events mediating chromosomal instability and aneuploidy. Using a multi-disciplinary approach comprised of non-human primate models, pluripotent stem cells and human pre-implantation oocytes and embryos donated for research, in combination with live cell imaging, novel gene reporter and silencing technologies as well as single cell whole genome analyses, her laboratory aims to build a comprehensive map of early primate development for cross-species and pathology comparison. She obtained her PhD in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from Yale University and her BS in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellow. She completed her Postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco and Stanford University, where she was a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Fellow.

2015 Recipients

Grant: Young Investigators Achievement Award
Project: Identification of Trophectoderm Factors Critical for Implantation and Continued Embryo Development
Recipient: Heidi Cook-Andersen, MD, PhD
Where: University of California, San Diego

Heidi Cook-Andersen, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor and Women’s Reproductive Health Research Scholar in the Department of Reproductive Medicine at the University of California, San Diego. She obtained both her MD and PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellow, where her research training focused on RNA stability and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Following completion of her residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Colorado Health Science Center and subspecialty training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of California, San Diego, she is studying RNA metabolism during the transition from the fully differentiated oocyte to the totipotent embryo. In the current project, she is working to identify factors in the developing trophectoderm critical for successful embryo implantation and continued embryo development. The long-term goals of these studies are to advance our understanding of the molecular basis of oocyte and embryo quality and improve IVF success.

Grant: Abby and Howard Milstein Innovation Award in Reproductive Medicine
Project: Identification of Intrafollicular Determinants Predictive of Oocyte & Embryo Developmental Potential
Recipient: Shawn L. Chavez, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator
Where: National Primate Research Center, Oregon Health & Science University

Shawn L. Chavez is an Assistant Scientist in the Division of Reproductive & Developmental Sciences at the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) and Assistant Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Physiology & Pharmacology at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) School of Medicine. Her current research interests are focused on the genetic, epigenetic and chromosomal requirements of mammalian pre-implantation development and early cell fate decisions with particular emphasis on the molecular mechanisms and cellular events mediating chromosomal instability and aneuploidy. Using a multi-disciplinary approach comprised of non-human primate models, pluripotent stem cells and human pre-implantation oocytes and embryos donated for research, in combination with live cell imaging, novel gene reporter and silencing technologies as well as single cell whole genome analyses, her laboratory aims to build a comprehensive map of early primate development for cross-species and pathology comparison. She obtained her PhD in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from Yale University and her BS in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Fellow. She completed her Postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco and Stanford University, where she was a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellow.

Grant: Abby and Howard Milstein Innovation Award in Reproductive Medicine
Project: Identification of Intrafollicular Determinants Predictive of Oocyte & Embryo Developmental Potential
Recipient: Jon D. Hennebold, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator
Where: National Primate Research Center, Oregon Health & Science University

Dr. Hennebold is an Associate Scientist and the Interim Chief of the Division of Reproductive & Developmental Sciences at the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) located on the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) West Campus. He is also an adjunct faculty member in the Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Physiology & Pharmacology. Dr. Hennebold currently serves as the Director of the ONPRC Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) Core, which supports research activities involving nonhuman primate studies of reproductive biology. His current research focus includes identifying and characterizing the molecular events that are necessary for the development and maturation of the ovulatory follicle, rupture of the follicle and release of the oocyte, as well as the development and regression of the corpus luteum. Understanding these events is critical for the development of novel contraceptives as well as new approaches for the treatment of infertility. Regarding the latter, Dr. Hennebold’s recent studies have focused on the role the intrafollicular environment plays on the development of a mature oocyte capable of fertilization and subsequent embryo development. Systematic genomic and metabolomic profiling of the ovarian follicle are currently being utilized to define the molecular characteristics of the ovarian follicle that results in the release of a fertilizable and developmentally competent oocyte. Dr. Hennebold received his PhD in Immunology and Cell Biology at the Department of Pathology, University of Utah School of Medicine in 1996. Dr. Hennebold then conducted his postdoctoral training in reproductive sciences at the University of Utah Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology. In 2000, he joined ONPRC as a Staff Scientist and was promoted to Assistant Scientist in 2003.

2014 Recipients

Grant: Research Grant in Reproductive Medicine
Project: Identification of biomarkers of human embryo developmental potential in IVF
Recipient: Sergio Oehninger, MD, PhD
Where: Jones Institute, Eastern Virginia Medical School

Sergio Oehninger, MD, PhD, is the Director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the Jones Institute. He joined the Jones Institute in 1988 as Assistant Professor,Obstetrics and Gynecology and has been a member of the IVF team since that time. He served as Associate Professor from 1993 until 1999, when he was promoted to Professor. He also holds a Professorship in the Department of Urology at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Dr. Oehninger's primary areas of interest are implantation and male factor infertility.  He is internationally recognized for his research on sperm-defect diagnosis (semen analysis), and the assessment of sperm/egg interaction.  He is currently involved in studies related to sperm function and sperm selection for intracytoplasmic sperm injection. He is also conducting studies aiming to identify biomarkers of embryo competence prior to transfer in the IVF setting.

 

Grant: Young Investigators Achievement Award
Project: DNA methylation changes in human oocyte aging
Recipient: Bo Yu, MD, MS
Where: Albert Einstein School of Medicine

Bo Yu, MD, MS is an assistant professor in the Department of OBGYN and Women’s Health at Albert Einstein School of Medicine, and a scholar in NIH-funded Reproductive Scientist Development Program.  After graduating from University of Michigan Medical School with Distinction in Research, she completed her OBGYN residency at Columbia University/New York Presbyterian Hospital, and her fellowship training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the National Institutes of Health.  Prior to her medical trainings, Dr. Yu received a master’s degree in Nutrition from Clemson University.  Her research interests are focused on epigenomic changes associated with ovarian aging and assisted reproductive technologies.

 

Grant: Young Investigators Achievement Award
Project: Elucidating Clinically-Relevant Mechanisms of Aneuploidy Generation and Resolution in IVF Embryos
Recipient: Shawn L. Chavez, PhD
Where: Oregon Health & Science University

Shawn L. Chavez is an Assistant Scientist in the Division of Reproductive & Developmental Sciences at the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) and Assistant Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Physiology & Pharmacology at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) School of Medicine. Her current research interests are focused on the genetic, epigenetic and chromosomal requirements of mammalian pre-implantation development and early cell fate decisions with particular emphasis on the molecular mechanisms and cellular events mediating aneuploidy generation. Using a multi-disciplinary approach comprised of non-human primate models, diseased and non-diseased pluripotent stem cells and whenever possible, human pre-implantation oocytes and embryos donated for research, in combination with live cell imaging, novel gene reporter and silencing technologies as well as single cell whole genome, epigenome and transcriptome analyses, her laboratory aims to build a comprehensive map of early human development for cross-species and pathology comparison. She obtained her PhD in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from Yale University and her BS in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Fellow. She completed her Postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco and Stanford University, where she was a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellow.

 

Grant: Abby and Howard Milstein Reproductive Medicine Research Award
Project: Isolation and enrichment of primordial germ cell-like cells from human ES cells
Recipient: David E. Reichman, MD, Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility
Where: The Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College

David Reichman, MD FACOG is an assistant professor of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the Ronald O. Perelman & Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine at Weill-Cornell Medical College.  He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in ethics, politics, & economics from Yale University, and his medical degree from Weill-Cornell Medical College.  He completed residency training at Harvard University’s combined obstetrics and gynecology program (Brigham & Women’s Hospital / Massachusetts General Hospital), and subsequently completed fellowship in reproductive endocrinology at Weill-Cornell.  Dr. Reichman received ASRM’s KY Cha Award in Stem Cell Technology in 2013, and currently sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Assisted Reproduction & Genetics. His current research interests include clinical optimization of assisted reproductive technologies and the derivation of reproduction-related tissues from human embryonic stem cells.


2013 Recipients

Grant: Research Grant in Reproductive Medicine
Project: Identification of biomarkers of human embryo developmental potential in IVF
Recipient: Sergio Oehninger, MD, PhD
Where: Jones Institute, Eastern Virginia Medical School

Sergio Oehninger, MD, PhD, is the Director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the Jones Institute. He joined the Jones Institute in 1988 as Assistant Professor,Obstetrics and Gynecology and has been a member of the IVF team since that time. He served as Associate Professor from 1993 until 1999, when he was promoted to Professor. He also holds a Professorship in the Department of Urology at Eastern Virginia Medical School.Dr. Oehninger's primary area of research interest is male factor infertility. He is internationally recognized for his research on sperm-defect diagnosis (semen analysis), and the assessment of sperm/egg interaction. He is currently involved in studies related to intracytoplasmic sperm injection outcome and testicular/epididymal sperm extraction. These procedures are used in cases of severe male factor infertility.

Grant: Young Investigators Achievement Award
Project: Micro-Electrophoresis: A novel approach to select mature and genetically fit sperm
Recipient: Luke Simon, PhD
Where: School of Medicine, University of Utah

Luke Simon completed his Masters in Biotechnology from the University of Madras, India in 2005 with a specialization in DNA fingerprinting. He worked as an Instructor and Research Assistant at University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, India during which he explored various types of DNA markers to identify inter- and intra-species variations. In 2007, Dr. Simon received the Queens International Scholarship and joined the Centre for Public Health at Queen's University Belfast as a doctoral research fellow. In April 2011, Dr. Simon joined the Andrology team at University of Utah. His research interests are principally focused on sperm function, sperm DNA damage, protamine and the effects of oxidative stress on male fertility.


2012 Recipients

Project: Identification of Markers of Human Embryo Developmental Potential in IVF
Recipient: Sergio Oehninger, MD, PhD

Project: Investigation of Functional Aspects of the Human Endometrium
Recipient: Silvina Bocca, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility 
Where: Jones Institute, Eastern Virginia Medical School

Project: Mitochondria and Oocyte Failure
Recipient: Frank J. Castora, PhD
Professor, Department of Physiological Sciences
Where: Jones Institute, Eastern Virginia Medical School

 

2011 Recipients

Project: Identification of Markers of Human Embryo Developmental Potential in IVF
Recipient: Sergio Oehninger, MD, PhD

Project: Investigation of Functional Aspects of the Human Endometrium
Recipient: Silvina Bocca, MD, PhD

Project: Mitochondria and Oocyte Failure
Recipient: Frank J. Castora, PhD

 

2010 Recipients

Project:
Identification of Markers of Human Embryo Developmental Potential in IVF
Name of Recipient: Sergio Oehninger, MD, PhD

Project: Spatial Organization of Human Genome in Sperm Cells: Study of chromosomes transformation at fertilization
Name of Recipient:
Andrei Zalensky, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Where:
Jones Institute, Eastern Virginia Medical School

Project: Investigation of Functional Aspects of the Human Endometrium
Recipient:
Silvina Bocca, MD, PhD

Project: Mitochondria and Oocyte Failure
Name of Recipient:
Frank J. Castora, PhD

 
 

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