The American Society for 

Reproductive Immunology

ASRI 2022 Election Nominees for Council

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Voting closes May 19, 2022

Councilor Nominee

Rafat Abbasi

I have been a member for four years.  I am a clinician involved in the care of fertility patients. My background is in clinical research.  I have been on the public affairs committee and the fellowship committee for 3 years. I have attended all the meetings since becoming a member and was privileged to achieve board certification with the first group of candidates.  I think with my background and clinical experience, I would offer a different perspective to the responsibilities of the role of councilor. I am eager to learn and participate in this society.

Councilor Nominee

craig bierle

I am an Assistant Professor in the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, at the University of Minnesota. Having trained in molecular virology and microbiology, it is my broad goal to understand how viral infection and the immune response affect placental function and cause adverse pregnancy outcomes. As training faculty in the UMN Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology Program and on several institutional training grants, I have a deep commitment to developing the next generation of researchers and preparing persons that are members of communities underrepresented in science for careers in reproductive immunology. I joined the ASRI in 2020 and served on the Program Committee for the 2022 Nashville meeting. I look forward to continuing to serve the Society and would be privileged to be chosen to be a councilor.

Councilor Nominee

elizabeth enninga

I have been a member of ASRI since 2017, attending my first meeting as a post-doc venturing into the reproductive immunology world from my thesis work in tumor immunology.  I was so impressed by the caliber of science and the comradery of the ASRI family who warmly welcomed me into the field and into their labs to learn new concepts and techniques in reproductive biology.  Now, as an Assistant Professor at Mayo Clinic, my lab studies mechanisms of chronic placental inflammation and maternal immune activation in preterm birth. For accomplishments, I hold grants from both the National Institutes of Health and Marcia T Kreyling Foundation and have published 40 peer reviewed manuscripts. I am applying for the ASRI councilor position because I want to give back to a society that helped give me a strong start in the field of reproductive immunology. I’m passionate about continuing to foster collaboration and diversity among members of the ASRI and inspiring the next generation of trainees to continue pursuits in this field.   

Councilor Nominee

Ramkumar Menon

I have been a Reproductive Biologist and Immunologist for the past 31 years. My work has been instrumental in contributing to our current knowledge base of cellular biological and immunological mechanisms of parturition at term and preterm. My research career started with my first publication in AJRI in 1994. I have since published over 25 papers in AJRI, and most of my work has been well cited. As a director of the Basic Science and Translational Research Division at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, I continue to train graduate and post-graduate fellows in reproductive biology and immunology. I have been a member of ASRI for several years, been an invited speaker multiple times to provide keynote lectures at ASRI  venues. I have also received the prestigious J. Christian Herr award, and my student Mrs. Sheller-Miller was awarded an ASRI travel grant to present her work on extracellular vesicles. I was also able to bring sponsorship for ASRI annual meeting. In addition, I have been serving as AJRI associate editor since 2018. I hope my experience and contributions to the field may help me serve society better if chosen as the councilor.

Councilor Nominee

Melissa Herbst-Kralovetz

I am a new member of ASRI, but have been committed to studying reproductive immunology my entire career. I am an Associate Professor in the Depts. of Basic Medical Sciences and Obstetrics and Gynecology and Director of the Women’s Health Research Program and Microbiome Initiative on our medical campus. This is initiative focuses on partnering basic scientists, clinicians and trainees to perform translational research in women’s health.  My research program is focused on understanding the microbiome and host-microbe interactions in the female reproductive tract as it relates to oncologic, reproductive, gynecologic health outcomes and health disparities. We use clinical biospecimens, animal models and an innovative 3-D bioreactor system to study human epithelial and immunometabolic responses to microbiota and pathogens at this site. I have a long-standing interest in enhancing women’s health outcomes through translational research. I feel my research experience in reproductive immunology, passion for promoting and training the next generation of scientists and engagement of a broad range of interdisciplinary scientists would make me a valuable councilor for ASRI.

Councilor Nominee

mimi ghosh

Mimi Ghosh, PhD, MS, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University (GWU). Dr. Ghosh received her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Public Health in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology. Following her PhD, she pursued post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Charles Wira at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth where she specialized on reproductive immunology and HIV acquisition and transmission in women.  Upon completing her postdoctoral training, Dr. Ghosh joined GWU as an Assistant Professor. The Ghosh laboratory is interested in translational public health aspects of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI) that can lead to the development of preventative and therapeutic interventions.  Her research, supported by National Institute of Health (NIH) and Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), is focused on hormonal regulation of immune responses in vulnerable populations and include investigating immunobiological mechanisms of HIV and STI susceptibility in postmenopausal women, adolescent girls, female sex workers, women who have experienced sexual violence, and transgender individuals.


Dr. Ghosh has consistently received multiple invitations to present her research at national and international conferences as well as NIH sponsored workshops. She routinely serves as an ad-hoc reviewer for NIH Study Sections. Dr. Ghosh is also the Co-Director of the MS program in Public Health Microbiology and Emerging Infectious Diseases at GWU and teaches two graduate level courses in Public Health Virology and Infection and Immunity. Dr. Ghosh joined the ASRI early in her career and has been an active member since then. From the beginning, she has attended and presented at multiple ASRI meetings, and co-chaired a session in 2017. She has also served as a program committee member for the 2020 and 2021 ASRI. Dr. Ghosh has consistently published and peer-reviewed manuscripts in the society journal, AJRI.

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