The Reproductive Endocrine Unit (REU) at Massachusetts General Hospital has an impressive tradition of training physician-scientists in reproductive biology. Since its inception in 1980, the REU has trained 54 fellows: 43 currently hold academic medical positions (25 with tenure) and 6 hold senior positions in the biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry. From a scientific perspective, during the past 3 decades, the REU has pioneered:
1) the use of pulsatile GnRH to induce puberty in males and ovulation induction in females,
2) the use of GnRH agonists to treat precocious puberty,
3) the elucidation of hypothalamic defects in women with hypothalamic amenorrhea and polycystic ovary syndrome,
4) the description of acquired hypogonadotropism, and
5) the discovery of genes that control sexual maturation in the human.
The Reproductive & Developmental Biology Training Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital provides its trainees with an intensive research experience in basic and/or clinical investigation under the attentive mentorship of a skilled faculty member and complemented by a strong didactic program underpinning the sciences of reproductive and developmental biology. Trainees are selected from a highly talented applicant pool of M.D.’s, M.D./Ph.D.’s, or Ph.D.’s on the basis of their prior academic and/or research accomplishments, a strong future commitment to an academic career in biomedical investigation, and a personal interview indicating their proper motivation and future potential.
The PI (Dr. William Crowley) is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Director of two NIH-funded Centers. He is an established senior scientist and recognized mentor who shares the governance of this program with the Unit Chief (Dr. Stephanie Seminara) who serves as Co-Director. The total training faculty consists of 13 active, well-funded scientists whose diverse expertise and investigative interests line a spectrum of reproductive and developmental research from fundamental developmental biology to bench-to-bedside translational clinical investigations.
The T32 Training Program in Reproduction provides training and career development for the most competitive post-doctoral candidates committed to independent academic careers. The T32 offers several opportunities embedded within investigative centers across Harvard. In addition to The Reproductive Endocrine Unit, faculty for the T32 are situated within The Analytical and Translational Genetics Units (Department of Medicine, MGH), the Center for Human Genetic Research (MGH), and the Broad Institute (Harvard/MIT). This broad-based environment offers rich exposure to cutting edge science.
Trainees are closely supervised by an active and individualized mentorship program overseen by the senior faculty and are encouraged to interact extensively with junior faculty who typically serve as in a co-mentorship role. An extensive program of rigorous didactic sessions interlaces tightly with individually strong, independent laboratory programs that remain at the heart of the trainees’ program and complements their 2-3 years of research experience. Typically, the training period involves several additional years as junior faculty that permits the consolidation of skills required for maximal competitiveness for subsequent independent support, the ultimate goal of their training program.