Joan S. Hunt, PhD, a professor emeritus at the University of Kansas Medical Center died peacefully in her home in Kansas City on April 20, 2019 at the age of 84.
After raising her son, she returned to school, earning her terminal degree from the University of Kansas at age 49. With that, she was off, eventually to become one of the world's foremost reproductive immunology scientists, making discoveries that not only advanced understanding of the immunological aspects of human reproduction but also gave rise to important clinical applications in medicine. Until her retirement in 2011, her groundbreaking work was continually funded by the National Institutes of Health. In all, her external grant funding totaled well over $61 million. She authored over 158 original scientific articles and 34 book chapters, edited 5 books, and delivered countless scientific presentations to include 203 invited research presentations across the globe. At the close of her career, Joan Hunt ranked in the top 1% of all cited authors. She served on the editorial boards of 10 scientific journals and was the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Reproductive Immunology.
Her awards and accolades are simply too numerous to recount. She was honored to serve as Visiting Scholar at St. John's College (University of Cambridge, UK) throughout 1999. Importantly, her successes were recognized by the University of Kansas through appointment as University Distinguished Professor in 2000 as well as induction into the University of Kansas Women's Hall of Fame in 2007. In 2001, after serving as a member, then the first woman chairperson, of Human Embryology and Development-1 Student Section for the National Institutes of Health, and as a member of the National Center for Research Resources Advisory Council, she received the National Institutes of Health prestigious Distinguished National Service Award. The University of Guelph, Canada awarded her Doctor of Science honoris causa in 2003.
Though her personal successes were numerous, her early life experiences ignited a deep passion for teaching, mentoring, and helping launch and foster the careers of talented trainees and colleagues, especially women scientists. Through her administrative positions as Senior Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education, Vice Chancellor for Research and President of the Kansas University Medical Center's Research Institute, and Vice Chancellor for Biomedical Research Infrastructure, as well as the initiator and guiding force in the Kansas Institutional Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (linking 10 Kansas campuses), evidence of her focus on mentorship is abundant. Similarly, such emphasis can be seen outside the university, as a president and leader within multiple professional societies, and within the local community. Her unwavering support of underrepresented groups, especially women, led to her induction into the University of Kansas' Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity in 2007 and the Betty M. Drees Distinguished Alumnae Award by the University of Kansas Society for Women in Medicine and Science in 2016.
Joan Hunt's impact on science and medicine was profound, and she will be sorely missed by many around the world. But undoubtedly, the greatest and most intense loss will be felt by those who loved her dearly; her many past and present friends; her family; and, especially her son, whom she raised in her image.
James C. Warren, MD, a professor emeritus and former head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Past President of the Society for Reproductive Investigation (1983-1984), died July 21, 2018, at his home in Mobile, Ala. He was 88.
Dr. Warren, a renowned researcher, clinician and teacher, was noted for his work in the endocrinology and biochemistry of reproduction. He served as a department head from 1971 to 1989.
One of Warren’s most important contributions to his field was his research identifying and determining the significance of progesterone, a hormone that is an essential part of birth control pills.
Before joining the Washington University School of Medicine faculty in 1971, he served as a professor of obstetrics and gynecology and of biochemistry at the University of Kansas School of Medicine for 10 years.
Dr. Warren earned a bachelor’s degree from Wichita State University in 1950 and a medical degree from the University of Kansas in 1954, both with honors. Following an internship at the University of Kansas Medical Center, he served as a physician in the U.S. Navy for two years. Dr. Warren then completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology and a doctorate in biochemistry, both at the University of Nebraska.
Dr. Stephen Paul Ford, 69, of Laramie, WY died peacefully at home on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. He was born on October 11, 1948 in Palo Alto, California to Frank and Rosemary (Bonnot) Ford and grew up on a sheep and cattle ranch in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Steve married Marsha Ann Pohl on September 12, 1970 in Salem, Oregon. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, three children and 8 grandchildren.
Steve Ford was a man of many scientific achievements, he loved the art of research and was a master at teaching. His career in animal sciences and reproductive physiology/biology began as an undergraduate research assistant at Oregon State University in the lab of Dr. Fred Stormshak. Steve went on to receive his graduate degrees from West Virginia University (M.S. in 1973) and Oregon State University (Ph.D. in 1977) under the guidance of Drs. Keith Inskeep and Fred Stormshak, respectively. Steve then accepted a position as a Reproductive Research/Physiologist at the U.S.D.A. Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC), Clay Center, NE from 1973-1979. Desiring to teach led Steve to move to the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University where he moved up through the ranks to full professor (1977-2001). In 2001, Steve moved to the University of Wyoming as the Professor of Animal Science, held the Rochelle Endowed Chair and was the founding Director of the Center for the Study of Fetal Programming there until his death.
Steve’s research and teaching programs at MARC and Iowa State focused on conceptus:uterine interactions throughout gestation in the cow, ewe and sow, with emphasis on factors controlling uterine and placental blood vessel development, function and blood flow. In his embryo transfer studies between Yorkshire and Meshian pigs, he was the first to show conclusively that intrauterine conditions in the mother control the rate of growth of her baby just as much, if not more so, than parental genes. He also conducted pioneering studies on the physiologic and genetic controls of litter size in the pig. His more recent work in conjunction with members of the Center for Study of Fetal Programming have focused on the impact of altered maternal nutrition on fetal growth and organ development as well as postnatal health, growth efficiency, reproduction and carcass quality of the offspring using sheep, cows as well as non-human primate models. His research has greatly impacted the way we view reproductive efficiency, and growth in numerous species, but also the birth of normal healthy human babies. His research program was internationally recognized as evidenced by many publications and awards. An abbreviated list of Steve’s awards include: the American Society of Animal Science Animal Physiology and Endocrinology Award (2000), Gamma Sigma Delta Research Merit Award, Iowa State University (2001), Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences Legacy Award (2007), Donald H. Barron Award for Outstanding Research and Scholarly Activities in the Field of Reproductive Biology from the University of Florida (2007), Sydney A. Asdell Award for Distinguished Scholarly Contributions to Reproductive Biology from Cornell University (2010), University of Wyoming Faculty Senate Speaker Award (2012), Abraham Lincoln Honor Award from the USDA (2016), and Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station Outstanding Research Award (2017).
In spite of Steve’s major research accomplishments, his favorite part of science was the training of graduate students and post-docs and this may be his most significant legacy. He imparted novel scientific perspectives to his students as well as his passion for scientific research. The best evidence for Steve’s outstanding mentorship, however, is that many of his previous mentees now lead well recognized research programs in academia and have assumed leadership roles at various universities or in private industry. Steve was an outstanding mentor and teacher as he always tried new approaches to topics thereby opening up numerous avenues for the scientific community overall. He enjoyed nothing more than sitting down with his own or other students at home or at scientific meetings to constructively review the strengths and weaknesses of their research projects. Steve also taught for his entire academic career and developed well rounded courses that reflected the students’ need to understand not only the whole animal, but also biochemical and molecular processes to enable them to understand and solve complex biological problems. Throughout his career he emphasized to his students the enrichment one gets from species comparisons. One prominent researcher stated, “… there are a tribe of Ford-educated scientists out there and you can see his strong influence on how they think about science and work at it.”
Steve has been a member of Society for the Reproductive Investigation (SRI/SGI) for 33 years. Therefore, many of Steve’s trainees and their scientific formative years were shaped by and interwoven with SRI/SGI elites. In addition to SRI/SGI, Steve also contributed strongly to the American Society of Animal Science, Society for the Study of Reproductive and Perinatal Research Society. He served as a grant reviewer for NIH, USDA, and numerous other US and international granting agencies. He most recently was PI of a Dual Purpose with Dual Benefit NIH/USDA grant using the ovine model to study the effects of maternal obesity on developmental origins of metabolic and cardiovascular non-communicable diseases.
Daniel R. Mishell Jr., MD: With heavy hearts we report that SRI Member and Past President, Daniel R. Mishell Jr., MD, a longtime professor and former chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, died on May 4th, 2016. He was 84.
Dr. Mishell dedicated himself to research in the fields of contraception, infertility, and reproductive endocrinology. He assisted in the development of the copper IUD, and conducted many studies about contraceptive rings, low-dose birth control pills, and injectable and implantable contraceptives. Mishell also helped revolutionize pregnancy testing and his research and clinical investigations helped women increase their chances of conception as well as induce ovulation in those women who are infertile. He was also known for helping women who are medically underserved and recruiting women into his field. Dr. Mishell shared his knowledge through his role of the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Contraception for over 40 years, as well as an editor of every major journal in the field. He has published over 350 articles and chapters, and we were honored to have him as an SGI president in 1988.
Dr. Mishell received numerous honors and awards including becoming an honorary member of the Sociedad Mexicana de Nutricion y Endocrinologia, A.C., his election as Fellow ad eundem of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and receipt of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Family Planning. Mishell was elected president of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology from 1986 to 1990, as well as chairman from 1990 to 1994. He also served as president for the Pacific Coast Fertility Society and the Society for Gynecologic Investigation, and served as advisor, board and council member for numerous national and international committees, task forces, and councils.
Information for this article was taken from http://keck.usc.edu/in-memoriam-daniel-mishell-jr-84/
William N. Spellacy, MD: We are sad to report SRI Member and Past President, William N. Spellacy, MD, died October 8th, 2015. He was 81. Dr. Spellacy was a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist and joined the University of South Florida College of Medicine in 1988 to become chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Among a career of dedicating himself to ensure women gained access to the best medical care possible, Dr. Spellacy also spent his career as a leader in the field of women’s health and research. Spellacy built a competitive residency program at USF, and it was often regarded as one of the best OB programs in the country by doctors throughout the nation. He used his influence and expertise to create not only the Genesis clinic, which provides comprehensive healthcare to medically underserved patients, but a program to give comprehensive care to incarcerated pregnant women in Hillsborough County, Florida, one he participated in for over two decades. Dr. Spellacy was a dedicated researcher and shared his knowledge through over 500 articles, 80 book chapters, and 10 books. We were honored to have him as an SGI president in 1985.
Additionally, Dr. Spellacy received numerous honors and awards including the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s Perdue-Frederick Research Award, the APGO Excellence in Teaching Award (twice), the Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology National Faculty Award for Excellence in Residency Education, USF Outstanding Resident Teaching Award, and USF Distinguished Research Professor. He was named several times to the Good Housekeeping “Best Doctors for Women” list and the “Best Doctors in America” list.
Information for this article was taken from https://hscweb3.hsc.usf.edu/blog/2015/10/12/in-memoriam-dr-william-n-spellacy/
Julian T. (Bill) Parer, MD, PhD: It is with great sadness that we share with you the passing of Julian T (Bill) Parer, MD, PhD, a leading academic in the field of perinatal biology and medicine and a member of the SRI for the past 40 years. Bill died while hiking on Mt. Tamalpais on August 3, 2016.
A native of Australia, Bill moved to the United States, where he received his PhD from Oregon State University in 1965 and an MD from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1971. After completing his OBGYN residency at the University of Southern California, Bill joined the faculty of the Department of OBGYN and Reproductive Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco in 1974 as a perinatologist and a researcher, reaching the rank of Professor in 1982. He also served as Director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at UCSF, and for 33 years directed the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellowship at UCSF.
Bill’s research centered on fetal physiology, with a focus on fetal responses to asphyxia, oxygen transport in pregnancy, fetal heart rate monitoring, and diverse clinical topics related to high-risk pregnancies. His pursuits resulted in more than 230 manuscripts and book chapters. He also cared for thousands of high-risk pregnant women in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, providing perinatal care and unique services such as intrauterine fetal transfusion and abdominal cerclage. Bill created and directed a continuing medical education course for 40 years on antepartum and intrapartum management, which attracted attendees from around the country. Bill was truly passionate about his clinical and scientific work, and served as a role model to many of us in the field and in our society who were fortunate to work with him or to be trained by him.
Lawrence D. Longo, MD: With deep sadness we share with you that Lawrence D. Longo, MD, passed away 5 January 2016.
Dr. Longo, a distinguished Professor of Physiology, and Obstetrics and Gynecology at Loma Linda University, was internationally recognized in the field of fetal and neonatal physiology as a pioneer investigator, mentor, teacher, missionary, innovator, medical historian, and ambassador of academic scholarship. Among his many significant accomplishments he authored more than 350 scientific papers, and edited or authored 20 books.
Graduating from Pacific Union College, and then the College of Medical Evangelists (now Loma Linda University School of Medicine) in 1954, Dr. Longo had an illustrious career. Over the past five decades he compiled an impressive record in research and academic leadership. He established the Center for Perinatal Biology at Loma Linda University into one of the world’s leading research groups in the field of developmental physiology, and served as its founding Director from 1973 to 2012. His research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health and other agencies since 1964.
Dr. Longo was President of both the Society for Gynecologic Investigation (1982-1983) and the American Osler Society (2002-2003). In 1987, Dr. Longo prepared the original grant application for the Reproductive Scientist Development Program, which was first funded in 1988 by the National Institutes of Health. He served as Director and Co-Director until 2013.
His life was an extraordinary example of dedication and perseverance.