August 1, 2022
As we enter into the month of August, many of us are wrapping up family vacations, while others are beginning to prepare for the 2022-2023 school year. SRI is in full swing as the leadership makes decisions regarding where future meetings will be held, which has been challenging because of the restrictive laws of some of the States regarding women’s reproductive freedom and LGBT rights.
August also marks the opening of abstract submissions for the SRI Annual Meeting in Brisbane! Watch for that email reminder to come through today, and prepare to submit your most exciting science for the annual meeting! Abstract submission will run through October 14. The SRI Program Committee met last week to finalize the 2023 schedule, and we look forward to sharing that with all of you very soon! We also are continuously looking for travel grant opportunities for trainees, and will keep you updated on those as they are confirmed.
I also wish to draw your attention to the special issue focused on health disparities published this July in the SRI’s journal, Reproductive Sciences. Our very own members of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee wrote the editorial, calling our attention to the fact that “….health equity is more than equal treatment. It is both the process and the measurable outcome that both eliminates or reduces disparities and provides individuals in these populations the means to have good health. It employs system-wide efforts to address social determinants of healthcare and health outcome.” I encourage you all to view the 16 articles that were published on this important topic. A special thank you to Drs. Elizabeth Bonney, Nardhy Gomez-Lopez, Eun Lee, and Shathiyah Kulandavelu for their thoughtful editorial!
Since I have your attention, I wanted to say a few words about ‘sponsorship.’ Many of you know that ‘sponsorship’ differs significantly from ‘mentorship.’ Most, if not all of us have greatly benefited from mentorship, which involves a relationship with a colleague(s) who provides advice on career advancement, work-life balance, how to deal with challenging situations, and more... A mentor also can provide constructive feedback on your manuscripts and grant applications. On the other hand, sponsorship involves the role of a colleague(s) who directly advocates for your career advancement, because they believe in your ability and potential. A sponsor can nominate you for prestigious awards and positions, as well as leadership roles in esteemed organizations. Sponsorship is of utmost importance in the reproductive sciences, which are not necessarily considered to be ‘hard’ science, like metabolism, cancer, gene regulation/genetics and development. However, the knowledge gained through reproductive investigation, which is critical for the prevention and treatment of breast, prostate, uterine and cervical cancers, prevention of preterm birth, preeclampsia, infertility, polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, uterine fibroids and the developmental origin of adult disease, encompasses all of these ‘hard science’ areas, and is critical for the propagation, health and well-being of our species. Some institutions have done an amazing job of bringing reproductive science and scientists to the forefront – but not all – and so much more can be done.
Speaking of the importance of sponsorship in the reproductive sciences, please remember to submit the names of your colleaguesas part of the nominations process for elected office in the SRI. We are now accepting nomination suggestions through August 16th for the President Nominee and for two seats on the SRI Council. Nominations may only be submitted by SRI members (so – please make sure that your dues payment is up to date). The online nominations process is very easy. We only require that you confirm that you have received permission from the individual(s) nominated. Please remember that the SRI is highly committed to having a diverse leadership, which includes education, race, geographic location, and so much more.
Finally, we are always looking for exciting news to share with our membership. I am delighted to highlight Amy Murtha, MD, former SRI Councilor, who is transitioning from her position as professor and chair of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, UC-San Francisco to Dean of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School! Congratulations, Amy, on this well-deserved accomplishment! If you have news you would like to see highlighted regarding you, or a colleague, please reach out to the SRI Staff.
I hope you all enjoy the few remaining weeks of the summer.
Carole Mendelson, PhD
SRI President, 2022-2023