The American Society for 

Reproductive Immunology

ASRI 2019 Election Nominees for Council

You must be an active ASRI member in good standing to vote! Voting closes June 11, 2019

Animesh Barua, PhD - Rush University

Animesh Barua, PhD - Rush University

Two main attributes characterize my research: the pursuit of excellence and seeking new experiences. In my childhood, I witnessed a friend’s mother die prematurely after suffering for approximately six months in excruciating pain. I found out later that she was suffering from a disease called cancer of the ovary for which neither an early detection test nor a curative drug is available. Later, I came to know that malnutrition, including lack of adequate protein, is a global cause of premature death. Thus, I was attracted to research and started studying genetics and breeding using chickens to improve breeds or strains of chickens for egg and protein production to increase protein supply. However, during my doctoral study, I serendipitously observed that a group of hens developed ovarian cancer. After a thorough search, published literature suggested that the case to death ratio due to ovarian cancer is very high. Moreover, the lack of a spontaneous animal model of ovarian cancer is a significant barrier to study the disease. Thus, I became interested to pursue my research career in ovarian cancer using the laying hen model of spontaneous ovarian cancer.  For teaching, I believe that given a congenial and supportive environment and passionate teaching, students can develop knowledge that will serve them well as they progress to their future career path.  

  • Co-Chair of the 37th Annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Immunology, September 17-20, 2017, Chicago, IL., 2017
  • Graduation Hooder for MS in Biotechnology students, Graduate College, Rush University: Voted by graduating students, 2017
  • Exceptional teacher of the year: 2016, Graduate College, Rush University: Voted by the graduating students, 2016
  • Graduation Hooder for MS students, Graduate College, Rush University: Voted by students, 2015
  • Graduation Hooder for MS students, Graduate College, Rush University: Voted by students, 2014
  • Graduation Hooder for MS students, Graduate College, Rush University: Voted by students, 2013
  • Mentor of the Year, Rush Graduate College, selected by students choice, 2013
  • Mentor of the Year, Rush Graduate College, selected by students choice, 2012
  • Scholar-in-Training Award, American Association for Cancer Research, 2007
  • Scholar-in-Training Award, American Association for Cancer Research, 2006
  • Sigma Xi Research Award for best presentation in fellow/instructor category, 23rd Annual Rush University Forum for Research and Clinical Investigation, 2006
  • Best Abstract, Annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR), 2005
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, Government of Japan
  • Graduate scholarship for doctoral study, Government of Japan

Current funding:

  • NIH R21CA187309: Ashwagandha supplementation enhances ovarian tumoricidal activity of NK cells, Role: Principal Investigator
  • NIH R01CA210370: Early detection of ovarian cancer by targeted ultrasound imaging and serum marker
  • Swim Across America: Early detection of ovarian cancer by serum markers

Past grants (Selected):

  • W81XWH-10-1-0523: Idea Development Award: Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer by Contrast- Enhanced Ultrasound-Targeted Imaging
  • W81XWH-11-1-0510: Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer by Molecular Targeted Ultrasound Imaging Together with Serum Markers of Tumor-Associated Nuclear Change and Angiogenesis.
  • W81XWH-12-1-0460: Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer by Tumor Epithelium-Targeted Molecular Ultrasound.
  • W81XWH-14-1-0315: Tumor-Associated Microvessel Targeted Ultrasound Molecular Imaging Probes Detect Ovarian Cancer at Early Stage
  • NCI/Pacific Ovarian Cancer Research Consortium (POCRC) (2009-11): Career development grant.

Sylvie Girard, PhD - University of Montreal

Sylvie Girard, PhD - University of Montreal

My research goals have been dedicated to the understanding of the inflammatory mechanisms at the maternal-fetal interface leading to altered placental function and affecting fetal development, especially in cases with fetal growth restriction and premature labor. I have also broaden my research interests in recent years to also study the maternal immune changes in pregnancy complications, especially preeclampsia, in relation with the placental and fetal impact of the pathology.

I have been a member of the ASRI since early 2014 and got involved early on with the society and have been a reviewer for AJRI as well. I have been co-chair of the website committee (2016-17) and now chair of the membership committee (2018-ongoing) and I am dedicated to facilitate the membership process and especially to bring awareness to the members and, importantly, to non-members of the added value of being a member of the society and being part of such a vibrant scientific community. As a council member, I would get to help the society support its member and make a difference in reaching non-member scientists and the general public through the excellent science done by members. I also believe that training the next generation of scientists is of high importance and this is something that I want to help the society promote.

Indira Mysorekar, PhD - Washington University St. Louis

Indira Mysorekar, PhD Washington University St. Louis

Member of ASRI since 2015.  Current position:  James P. Crane Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Depts. of Obstetrics and Gynecology & Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine.  Director, Center for Reproductive Health Sciences, Dept. of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Washington University School of Medicine

Service to ASRI:  Invited speaker at ASRI annual meeting in 2016 (2 talks) and in 2019.  Proposed two mini symposia concepts for the 2019 ASRI meeting; One concept on Reproductive Immunology in the Male was selected which I will chair.  Invited speaker for mini-symposium on The Impact of the Maternal Microbiome on Pregnancy and Fetal Outcomes.  Invited and agreed to participate in mentor-trainee lunch during ASRI 2019.  Associate Editor for the American Journal for Reproductive Immunology (AJRI)

I am a Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Pathology & Immunology and Director of the Center for Reproductive Health Sciences (CRepHS) at WUSM. Under my leadership, the Center has helped facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations to fill in knowledge gaps in women’s health from preconception; pregnancy; and in aging. These efforts have been very fruitful as the Department was ranked 2nd in NIH funding among all Ob/Gyn Departments in the United States in 2018.  I have established highly successful research programs in three different fields of microbiology and immunology: 1) Host-microbial- immune interactions in the placenta; vertical transmission of infections (Zika virus) in pregnancy; and 2) Discovery and characterization of microbes in the placenta and interaction with immune cells; and 3) age-associated immune dysfunction in the urinary tract.  I have been awarded a Pathway to Independence Award, multiple R01s and two program projects (the second one as PI); Burroughs-Wellcome Fund Investigator and March of Dimes Investigator in Prematurity Research. I was recently named to the James P. Crane Endowed Professorship in OB/Gyn in 2019. I am a devoted and passionate mentor and have trained a number of undergraduate, graduate, medical, MSTP students, postdoctoral and clinical fellows (for which I was awarded an ‘Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award’ and in 2019 was awarded the Mentor of the year award at Washington University across all disciplines); all of whom have careers in science/medicine. I am active in mentoring junior faculty in reproductive sciences, infectious diseases, and development/regeneration/aging biology. I serve as a mentor on multiple NIH-funded T32 and faculty development awards, as reviewer for center review panels (MAPP Network, Developmental Centers for Benign Urology Research, KMBD, NIDDK); (Rapid Assessment of ZIKV Complications, NIAID) and am a Standing Member on the PN study section, NICHD. I am a member of the NICHDs strategic planning committee to set the research agenda for NICHD.

I am relatively new but highly committed part of the ASRI family and would like to serve the membership of the society in the capacity of Council member and contribute to the ASRI Mission.  In terms of my basic, translation, and clinical research in women's health, I bring multi-disciplinary perspectives in Uro-gynecology and Maternal Fetal Medicine with well-funded research programs in both fields. I bring leadership and commitment to women’s health as I was instrumental in developing a Centre for Women’s Reproductive Health Sciences (of which I am Director) with exceptional basic, translational, and clinical Women’s health research initiatives, new faculty recruitment, and global outreach.  I am a highly involved and committed mentor and I bring the perspective of a basic scientist in a clinical department in training junior scientists and clinical fellows. I have mentored a number of trainees and been awarded an ‘Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award’ as well as ‘Graduate student Mentor of the Year Award’. Finally, in personal terms, I have grown up on multiple continents, with a multicultural and multi-lingual heritage and bring an innately global perspective on life and science.

As a Council Member, I will bring tremendous enthusiasm, drive, and commitment to scientific exchange forums (national and international), leadership and excellence in research and work tirelessly with the leadership to bring global and multi-disciplinary perspectives to the ASRI mission.

Charles Wira, PhD - Dartmouth University

Charles Wira, PhD - Dartmouth University

Chuck Wira is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in Lebanon, NH. His research focuses on how female sex hormones and chemical contraceptives influence innate and adaptive immunity in the female reproductive tract of animal models and humans. As Principal Investigator of NIH awarded grants for 40 years, he has led a major collaborative effort to define the role of sex hormones and chemical contraceptives in mucosal immune regulation in the human female reproductive tract. As a NIH Merit Award recipient, his research focuses on understanding at the cellular and molecular level the ways this system is regulated to protect against sexually transmitted pathogens including HIV. Recent studies build on this foundation to define the impact of trauma on wound healing and HIV acquisition and the roles of chemical contraceptives, antiretrovirals and pathogens in modifying the protective mucosal environment in the FRT, thereby increasing the risk of HIV infection. Dr. Wira is strongly committed to the growth and success of young investigators (graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and residents), collaborative interactions between specialties and greater sharing of research findings with physicians who treat women suffering with reproductive health problems. He has published approximately 250 research papers.

Dr. Wira is a long-time member of the ASRI and the International Society for Immunology of Reproduction (ISIR). He is the past Secretary to ASRI, has served as Councillor for ASRI (1998-2006) and was president of ASRI (2008-2009). Dr. Wira was the Secretary General of ISIR and was the President of ISIR (2013-2016). As an advisor to NIH, Dr. Wira in 2016 was appointed to a four-year term as a member to the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council (OARAC) at NIH.  This council works with OAR which coordinates the scientific, budgetary, legislative, and policy elements of NIH AIDS research. OARAC provides advice to the Director of the OAR, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Assistant Secretary for Health and the Director of NIH on the planning, coordination, and evaluation of research conducted or supported research by the NIH.

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