ASRM Announces 2015 Awards

  • Distinguished Researcher Award goes to Frank Zygmunt Stanczyk, Ph.D, University of Southern California (USC) Keck School of Medicine
  • Ira and Ester Rosenwaks New Investigator Award goes to Erica Elizabeth Marsh, M.D., Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Suheil J. Muasher, MD, Distinguished Service Award goes to Judy E. Stern, Ph.D. M.A.
  • Kavoussi Family Outstanding Teacher Award goes to Robert A. Godke, Ph.D School of Animal Sciences at the Louisiana State University
  • KY Cha Award in Stem Cell Technology goes to Jatin Patel, Ph.D., of the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research
  • Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award goes to Jason Spencer Griffith, M.D., Houston Fertility Institute
Baltimore, MD – The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) today announced the winners of the highest individual awards of the Society.

The Distinguished Researcher Award is given to a scientist with a long record of important scientific achievement in the field of reproductive medicine. The 2015 recipient is Frank Zygmunt Stanczyk, Ph.D who serves as Professor of Research in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and of Preventative Medicine and Direcor of the Reproductive Endocrine Research Laboratory at the Univ. of Southern California (USC) Keck School of Medicine. After receiving his doctorate from McGill University, he completed his postdoctoral study as a Ford Foundation Fellow at USC. His expertise is in metabolism, pharmacokinetics and the measurement of natural and synthetic steroids. He has applied this focus to research regarding contraception and also to the treatment of postmenopausal women, including alternatives to traditional hormone treatment. He has studied the role of steroid hormones in the etiology of breast and prostate cancers, as well as in Alzheimer’s disease. Further, he has researched insulin receptor defects and markers of adiposity in PCOS and androgenic markers in hyperandrogenic women with hirsutism. Dr. Stanczyk has published over 400 articles and his laboratory is recognized internationally for its expertise in the measurement of steroid, peptide and protein hormones and other compounds in serum/plasma and tissues.

Erica Elizabeth Marsh, M.D. has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the Ira and Ester Rosenwaks New Investigator Award. This award recognizes a member of ASRM who has made outstanding contributions to clinical or basic research in reproductive sciences published within 10 years after completing research or clinical training and initiating an independent career as an investigator. Dr. Marsh received her undergraduate and medical education at Harvard and then pursued a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, where she has been Assistant Professor since 2008. She has published 27 peer-reviewed articles and has made significant original research contributions in the area of uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and female infertility. Her recent focus is on the role of obesity and metabolic dysregulation in the initiation and propagation of fibroid lesions and the ethnic disparities of those suffering from them.

The Society recognizes the contributions made to the fields of reproductive medicine by Judy E. Stern, Ph.D., and awards her the 2015 Suheil J. Muasher, MD, Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Stern has provided systematic analysis of clinic performance and patient outcomes in order to improve the quality of reproductive care and recognized early on the value of the study of the trends in clinical practice patterns and their consequences. Through her data analyses and the institution of the Infertility Family Research Registry she has made important contributions to the understanding of the etiology of infertility and the safety of ART.

Robert A. Godke, Ph.D., Boyd Professor of Reproductive Physiology in the School of Animal Sciences at the Louisiana State University is the recipient of the 2015 Kavoussi Family Outstanding Teacher Award. This award honors an ASRM member who is recognized as an outstanding educator in undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, professional or patient education in the area of basic and/or clinical reproductive biology and medicine. Professor Godke has trained more than 100 reproductive physiologists, 22 of whom currently are directors of assisted reproductive technology laboratories. Through his example, his students learned the art of delivering an engaging presentation involving the use of descriptive visuals.

The recipient of the KY Cha Award in Stem Cell Technology for 2015 is Jatin Patel, Ph.D. of University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research for his project titled “Placental endothelial progenitors and mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of vascular disease and tissue regeneration.” Dr. Patel pioneered a novel technique to isolate pure fetal populations of both endothelial progenitor cells and mesenchymal stem cells from the human term placenta. These studies provide an avenue to develop a cellular therapy for the treatment of ischemic disease in clinical situations where amputation currently is the only therapeutic option. This is a $20,000 grant awarded competitively by ASRM to provide start-up funds to initiate an innovative research project in regenerative medicine and stem cell technology.

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award is awarded to an ASRM member who as a practicing physician best demonstrated the ideals of compassionate and respectful care for a patient’s physical and emotional well-being. The Society has selected Jason Spencer Griffith, M.D., for this award in 2015 because, as stated in the letter of nomination, “he has been a champion of our legislative initiatives and works to ignite patients and the media in Texas to recognize the importance of advocating for infertility issues.” Dr. Griffith serves as the medical director of Houston Fertility Institute, where he is often found providing care to patients during weekends and holidays. It is clear from the testimonials from his patients that helping patients cope with infertility is more than a job but a calling for Dr. Griffith.
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