ASRI 2023 Election Nominees for Council
President Elect Nominee
Dr. Mysorekar is the inaugural E.L. Wagner Endowed Professor in Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM). Dr. Mysorekar serves as Chief of Research in the Section of Infectious Diseases in the Department, Vice Chief of the Section, Professor in the Huffington Center on Aging and in the Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, and Co- Director of an NIAID T32 Infectious Diseases Training Program. Indira grew up in India and Tanzania before moving to Sweden where she received her BS and MS degrees from the University of Lund, Sweden. She then moved to the United States and was awarded her PhD at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis where she went on to become the James P. Crane Endowed Professor of Maternal Fetal Medicine and Director of the Centre for Reproductive Health Sciences which she developed as a hub for outstanding translational research in women’s and reproductive health. At both institutions, she has helped recruit fellows, students, and junior faculty to foster their interest in women’s health and maternal-fetal health and integrate basic and clinical research by identifying and promoting the common spaces and bridging gaps.
The Mysorekar lab has made a number of novel and paradigm shifting discoveries in urogenital tract immunology, microbiology and microbial pathogenesis. Her research efforts have focused on increasing fundamental understanding of mechanisms underlying viral infections during pregnancy and urinary tract infections in older women and develop targeted therapeutic interventions to improve urogenital health. Dr. Mysorekar has received a K99/R00 award, multiple R01s and program projects from NIDDK/NIA/NICHD/NIAID); Investigator awards from Burroughs-Wellcome Fund and the March of Dimes, the 2021 Christian J. Herr award for outstanding achievements in reproductive immunology and two Endowed professorships: James P. Crane Endowed Professor of Maternal Fetal Medicine and inaugural E.L. Wagner Endowed Professor in Infectious Diseases and most recently been inducted as a Fellow at the American Academy of Microbiology. Dr. Mysorekar is a devoted and passionate mentor and has mentored numerous students and fellows and faculty and been awarded an Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award at WUSM as well as Mentor of the Year award in 2019 from Washington University Graduate Student Senate.
Dr. Mysorekar is a very active member of the American Society for Reproductive Immunology (ASRI). She serves as an Associate Editor for the society journal, American Journal of Reproductive Immunology where she has also contributed and/or served as an Editor for special issues. Dr. Mysorekar or her trainees have been Invited speakers at ASRI annual meetings in 2016, 2019-2023. She currently serves as Secretary on the ASRI Council and serves on the Awards committee. She has organized mini symposia for 2019-2023 ASRI meetings and was co-chair of the 2022 ASRI meeting in Nashville. There, she initiated a dedicated session series focused on the research environment (2022), reproductive rights (2023); and education/communication with policymakers (2024). She will be Chairing the 2024 ASRI meeting. Dr. Mysorekar is an enthusiastic participant in mentor-trainee events during ASRI meetings. Dr. Mysorekar is honoured to be running for ASRI President. She brings tremendous enthusiasm, drive, and commitment to scientific exchange forums (national and international), leadership and excellence in research, and tireless efforts to bring global, diverse, and multi-disciplinary perspectives to the ASRI mission.
Vice President Nominee
Larry Chamley is Professor of Reproductive Biology and Reproductive Immunology and Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and is the Director of the Hub for Extracellular Investigations (HEVI) at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He completed his PhD in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (Auckland) studying the role of antiphospholipid antibodies in causing stillbirths and recurrent miscarriages. He was then awarded a Health Research Council (NZ) Overseas Fellowship and moved to the Department of Immunology, University of Liverpool (UK), where he investigated the involvement of complement regulatory proteins in early pregnancy failure. In 1996 Larry returned to Auckland to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology to establish his own laboratory studying the role of the placenta in both healthy and diseased pregnancies.
Larry is a Fellow of the Society for Reproductive Biology (FSRB) . He serves as Editor of the 'Trophoblast Research' and Associate Editor of the Journal 'Reproduction'. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Journals; 'Placenta' and the 'American Journal of Reproductive Immunology' and serves as the Chair of the ASRI Publications Committee. He is also a Council Member of the International Society of the Immunology of Reproduction.
My name is Melanie and I’ve been a member of the ASRI for several years. My first ASRI meeting was in 2014 where I met many members of the society. For the 2022 meeting in Nashville, I was honoured to be part of the Program Planning Committee, and it was here that I got to know many more members of this awesome group. The Nashville meeting was terrific, and connecting on a deeper level with fellow reproductive immunologists made me want to give back to the community. For these reasons I’m running for a position on the ASRI council. I’m very interested to learn more about the society, to bring in new ideas and to contribute in any way that I can.
Jiahui (Candy) Ding, MD, PhD, is an assistant professor at the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wayne State University. Her research focuses on viral infections during pregnancy and their impact on the development of the fetal immune system. Dr. Ding has developed several animal models of maternal inflammation during pregnancy and has served as reviewers for 10+ journals.
Charu Kaushic is a tenured full Professor in Department of Medicine in McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. She is also a member of the McMaster Immunology Research Centre and the Michael De Groote Institute of Infectious Disease Research. Dr. Kaushic has a PhD in Immunology from National Institute of Immunology, India and did her post-doctoral training in mucosal immunology from Dartmouth Medical School. She joined McMaster University as faculty in 2002. Since then she has done extensive teaching and training in immunology and built an interdisciplinary, high impact research program in women’s reproductive health, specifically basic, clinical and translational research examining susceptibility and immune responses to sexually transmitted viruses, HIV-1 and HSV-2. Since 2018, Dr. Kaushic has also been serving as the Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-Institute of Infection and Immunity. In her role as the Scientific Director for CIHR-III, Dr. Kaushic is responsible for making decisions for CIHR’s strategic investments in the area of infection and immunity, nationally and internationally. She also represents CIHR and Government of Canada at various national and international forums related to infectious diseases.
Prior to joining CIHR, Dr. Kaushic’s research program was funded by CIHR, CFI, CANFAR and OHTN. She has received numerous national and international awards including Rockefeller post-doctoral fellowship, CIHR New Investigator Award, OHTN Research Chair award, the 2017 American Journal of Reproductive Immunology Research Excellence Award and the 2022 CANFAR Leadership Award. She sits on several journal editorial boards, has served as a reviewer for NIH, CIHR and numerous other national international organizations. She was inducted into the Government of Canada’s Women of Impact Online Gallery in 2021 and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2022.
Dr. Kaushic’s association with the American Society of Reproductive Immunology goes back almost 30 years, first as a graduate student and post-doctoral trainee in reproductive immunology and then as a full member of ASRI. She successfully organized the 28th Annual Conference of ASRI in Toronto in 2007 and has served on the scientific program committee for the ASRI conference many times since 2005. She served as a counsellor on the ASRI executive council from 2007-2010 and as the Secretary on the Executive Council of ASRI (2011-2014) and chaired the publications committee for ASRI from 2016-2018. She has been on the Editorial board of AJRI from 2007-2010, and again since 2017 to current. In 2010, the society awarded her the J. Christian Herr Award for excellence in research and the 2017 American Journal of Reproductive Immunology Research Excellence Award. She was the co-organizer of the post-graduate course at 2011 ASRI Annual Conference and has guest edited AJRI special issues three times. Dr. Kaushic is committed to expanding and advancing ASRI as an international society that promotes young investigators and scientific collaborations. In particular, she would like to make ASRI a more inclusive society, that is welcoming to a diversity of voices, including people with lived and living experiences and under-represented communities.
Liza Konnikova is clinically a neonatologist with a research focus on how fetal immunity contributes to homeostasis at the maternal fetal Interfase. Liza has greatly enjoyed being part of the ASRI for the past two years and have been impressed by how diverse, welcoming and progressive the society is. As a neonatologist with a deep understanding of fetal immunology, she would bring a unique perspective to the society and aid in advancing its mission in studying immunological aspects of the reproductive process. She is excited to contribute to the ASRI.
Jun Lei is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She gained her undergraduate and MD degrees from the Hubei University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China. She completed her MS and PhD programs at the Huazhong University of Sciences and Technology, Tongji Medical College in China. Following her post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Toledo and Johns Hopkins University, she became a faculty (tenure track ) at Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Lei is a member of the Society for Reproductive Investigation and the American Society for Reproductive Immunology. She is the recipient of the Dr. John Gusdom Memorial New Investigator Award for Basic Science from the American Society for Reproductive Immunology, NIH Young Investigator Award, and President’s Presenter’s Award from the Society for Reproductive Investigation. She has authored many peer-reviewed research publications in the field of Reproductive Sciences. Dr. Lei's research interests include the diagnosis, mechanisms, and therapeutic treatments of maternal infection/inflammation-associated adverse fetal outcomes.
Dr. Anna Powell is excited to take on a bigger role within ASRI by serving on the Executive Council.
She looks forward to bridging the gaps between basic reproductive immunology science and translational work to patient care and inspiring the next generation of clinicians with research interests in the field.