Integrated Training in Reproductive Sciences

Sponsor: NIH National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Location(s): United States


Human reproduction affects all generations, yet many questions remain concerning both the basic biology and clinical issues in women's health. This program integrates faculty in basic science and clinical investigation and seeks to train investigators to study both basic and clinical human reproductive biology to improve the health of women and children.

This Training Program prepares physicians and scientists for investigative careers in reproductive biology. During its 25 year history, the program has trained 74 postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. The program is multifaceted and broadly based. Research training is provided by 25 members of the Center for Reproductive Sciences (CRS) who hold faculty positions in 12 departments and organized research units. The Faculty have a broad range of scientific expertise and activities in reproductive biology, including: germ cell development, meiosis, follicular maturation, regulation of endometrial and placental function, mechanisms of hormone action; molecular genetics, steroid biosynthesis and action, endometrial and placental function, endocrine regulation of normal and abnormal reproductive function, basic and clinical studies of PCOS. Technologies available include: human and mouse embryology, transgenic mice, embryonic stem cells, human genetics and genomics, microarrays and proteomics, mass spectrometric analysis of proteins and small molecules, in vitro fertilization, whole animal physiology, prospective clinical investigation. Following formal application to the CRS or to an appropriate graduate program, trainees are selected by an Admissions Committee. Graduate students pursue a course of study leading to the Ph.D. degree. Postdoctoral training will be offered to Ph.D. candidates in related disciplines, and to clinically trained M.D. scientists with prior specialty training. In addition to their research work, trainees take prescribed academic courses, seminars, journal clubs, conferences, and seminars on the responsible conduct of research. Trainees learn to design and execute basic research projects, analyze data and write manuscripts for prominent peer-reviewed journals. Trainees prepare and submit grant applications for extramural funding, preparing them for independent academic careers. Trainee academic development is assured by mentoring committees through individual development plans; success of trainees and the training program is tracked through yearly surveys of alumni. The strengths of the program include: 1.) the diverse skills and interests of the faculty, 2.) the interactiveness of the faculty, 3.) our substantial laboratory resources, and 4.) the outstanding environment for research in reproduction, development, endocrinology, cell biology, genetics and related areas at UCSF.