The nation’s leading professional society for reproductive medicine has recognized Oregon Health & Science University embryologist Shoukhrat Mitalipov, Ph.D., with the American Society of Reproductive Medicine Distinguished Researcher Award.
Mitalipov is director of the OHSU Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy.
His laboratory has pioneered the concept of mitochondrial replacement therapy to prevent the transmission of inherited mitochondrial disease and to treat infertility, especially in women of advanced maternal age. The ASRM recognition also notes that his lab is at the forefront of new efforts to address infertility through a concept known as in vitro gametogenesis, or IVG, in which eggs are generated from skin cells.
For more on the OHSU Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy: https://news.ohsu.edu/news-media/pioneering-research-seeking-to-prevent-inherited-disease-and-treat-infertility
The organization will present the award during its annual Scientific Congress and Expo in New Orleans on Oct. 18.
“I am honored to be recognized by an organization at the forefront of advancing reproductive medicine in the United States and worldwide,” Mitalipov said.
OHSU established the center under Mitalipov’s leadership in 2014. The center has become an international leader in developing new techniques to cure or prevent inherited disease.
In addition to the work with mitochondrial replacement therapy, the center has pioneered the process of somatic cell nuclear transfer, which involves replacing the nucleus in an unfertilized human egg with a nucleus from a patient’s skin cell. This line of work raises the possibility of rejection-proof, genetically matched human embryonic stem cells to treat disease.
Mitalipov’s lab is a global leader in research advancing scientific understanding of gene-editing techniques in early human embryos to prevent the transmission of genetic disease.
He was nominated by Paula Amato, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the OHSU School of Medicine and also the president-elect of ASRM.
“As a close clinical collaborator of Dr. Mitalipov, I have had the opportunity to interact closely with him for many years,” Amato wrote. “He is an incredibly smart and creative thinker. He is collaborative in nature and motivated by the desire to help patients.”
Mitalipov, 62, earned his doctorate in human genetics in 1994 from the Research Center for Medical Genetics in Moscow. He completed his postdoctoral training at Utah State University and joined OHSU in 1998, focusing on investigating and developing novel cell and gene therapy approaches in the area of reproductive medicine.