2022 Award Recipients

Carl G. Hartman Award 

Supported by SSR
Named for a distinguished reproductive biologist, this is the Society's highest award. It recognizes a career of research and scholarly achievements in the field of reproductive biology. It is not required that the nominee be a member of the Society.

2022 Award Recipient

Martin M. Matzuk, MD, PhD
Director, Center for Drug Discovery
Chair, Stuart A. Wallace Chair, Robert L. Moody, Sr. Chair
Professor, Department of Pathology & Immunology
Baylor College of Medicine


Read Bio

Dr. Matzuk graduated with a B.A. with honors in biology from the University of Chicago, earned his M.D. and Ph.D. from Washington University School of Medicine, performed residency training in clinical pathology at the University of Pennsylvania and Baylor College of Medicine, and joined the Baylor College of Medicine faculty in 1993. Acknowledged for his interrogation of TGFβ superfamily, germ cell, and hormonal signaling pathways using functional genomics and chemical biology approaches, Dr. Matzuk has published more than 390 papers. Having mentored over 50 diverse students, postdoctoral fellows, and medical fellows, Dr. Matzuk received the 2015 Trainee Mentoring Award from the Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR) and has produced numerous trainees who are productive members of SSR and leaders in the fields of reproduction, cancer biology, and genomics. Dr. Matzuk received the 2002 SSR Research Award, was the Scientific Program Organizer for the 2007 SSR Annual Meeting in San Antonio, was Treasurer of the SSR from 2009 to 2012, has given seven plenary lectures at SSR annual meetings and a Keynote lecture at the SSR meeting in Montreal (2013), became a Fellow of the SSR in 2021, helped to financially setup two SSR endowments in honor of Drs. John Eppig and Bruce Murphy, and was Co-Editor of the Biology of Reproduction special issue entitled, Contraceptive Development: Past, Present, and Future. Nationally, Dr. Matzuk is a member of the National Advisory Child Health and Human Development Council, is discipline chair of the National Academy of Sciences Animal Genetics and Physiology Section, chaired the NIH CMIR study section and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund CABS and CAMS review panels, and was a member of the Board of Reviewing Editors at Science. In addition to his SSR honors, Dr. Matzuk has multiple honors from The Endocrine Society, received the IVI Foundation’s 5th International Award for Best Basic Research Record in Reproductive Medicine, has given multiple named lectures internationally, and was awarded a prestigious NIH MERIT award. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas in 2014 and was elected a Fellow in the National Academy of Inventors in 2016. Dr. Matzuk is forever grateful to his family and his many colleagues, co-workers, and laboratory members for their time, patience, support, and friendship, and to the SSR for this honor.
SSR Jansen Distinguished Leadership and Service Award

​Supported by SSR
This award recognizes a member of the Society who has demonstrated unselfish service and leadership in advancing the discipline of reproductive biology.

2022 Award Recipient

Benjamin K. Tsang, PhD
Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Cellular & Molecular Medicine 
Professor Emeritus, University of Ottawa
Senior Scientist in the Chronic Disease Program
Emeritus Senior Scientist, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Read Bio

Dr. Ben Tsang completed his undergraduate training at Bemidji State University (chemistry), received MSc (Biochemistry) from the University of Iowa, and Ph.D. (Pharmacology) from the University of Ottawa. In 1980, Dr. Tsang joined the University of Ottawa as the Director, Reproductive Biology Unit and initiated a research-intensive academic program in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He served as Associate Chair (Research) of the Department and developed a multi-disciplinary reproductive health research program in Ottawa.  As the Director of Research of the Ottawa Civic Hospital, he played a central role in research development at the Loeb Medical Research Institute, one of the top health research institutions in Canada, which later became the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.

Dr. Tsang is a Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Cellular & Molecular Medicine, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences and Professor Emeritus, University of Ottawa. He is also a Senior Scientist in the Chronic Disease Program, as well as Emeritus Senior Scientist, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.

Professor Tsang is an internationally recognized ovarian biologist, who has successfully developed a translational research program in women’s health. His team of basic scientists and clinical investigators address important health issues, including female infertility and ovarian cancer. Ben’s research program covers the broad area of cell fate regulation in women’s reproductive health. He and his team are examining the cell signaling pathways involved in the regulation of ovarian cell survival and apoptosis and have defined basic mechanisms governing normal ovarian follicular growth and offered important insights into the pathophysiology of polycystic ovarian syndrome. In addition, his research on the molecular and cellular basis of chemoresistance in ovarian cancer has provided key information for the development of new therapy for chemoresistant ovarian cancer. His current investigation, employing nanophotonics and machine learning, focuses on the utility of exosomes as a biomarker for early detection of ovarian cancer and prediction of chemosensitivity. The success of Professor Tsang’s research is also reflected by his ability to secure continuous funding from MRC/CIHR during the past 39 years. He has contributed over 235 original publications and 20 reviews/book chapters and was awarded 4 patents. 

Ben has received many honors and awards, including the Award of Excellence in Reproductive Medicine from the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, the OCRI Research Award from the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovations, Angel Award for cancer research excellence from the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, “Outstanding Alumnus” of Bemidji State University (Minnesota), the J David Grimes Research Career Achievement Award at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine Award of Excellence (Research) and the Recognition Award (Medical Education).

Ben is an Emeritus Member of SSR. He has been a SSR member since the time of his postdoctoral training with Dr. David T. Armstrong (University of Western Ontario). The SSR has been his second academic home, which has played an important role in his vocational training and career development. His extensive service to the SSR represents his desire to “pay back” the Society.  In addition to serving on the SSR Board of Directors (2012-2015), Future Meeting Sites Committee (1995-1996) and Education Committee (1985-1986), he was the Chair of the Nominating Committee (1994-1995), the Local Arrangements Committee (LAC) of the 2001 SSR Annual Meeting held in Ottawa, Canada and LAC Co-Chair of the 2020 SSR meeting, which unfortunately was postponed to 2023 due to the pandemic. One of Ben’s most significant contributions to the Society has been his leadership in fundraising to support its annual meetings and programs. He chaired the Development Committee (2003-2004) and the Industrial Relations Subcommittee, (2001- 2004). In addition, he served as the Chair of the Golden Anniversary Fundraising Campaign of the Society (2016-2018) which successfully raised $1.2 million. This allows the establishment annually of the Fuller W. Bazer SSR International Scientist Award, Janice Bahr Junior Scientist Travel Award and the SSR-CFAS Speaker Exchange Partnership.

One of Ben’s visions in research is that research has no geographic and cultural boundaries, and an important ingredient of research success is international partnership. In this context, he served as the Canadian Lead of the Canada-Japan Bilateral Program on Women’s Health Research and co-chaired the China-Canada Bilateral Program on Reproductive Health. He holds an honorary professorship at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Jinan University, Nanjing Medical University and Taipei Medical University. He was appointed the World Class University Professor of Biomodulation at Seoul National University and served on the Advisory Committee of the Cancer Research Institute, Seoul National University.

He is a Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Ovarian Research, and previously served on the Editorial Board of Biology of Reproduction, Endocrinology, Reproduction and Adaptive Medicine. He served as President of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society and is currently on the Board of Directors and Co-Chair of the Charitable Giving Committee of the Glebe Centre, a Not-for-Profit long-term care home and community senior care facility. 

SSR Virendra B. Mahesh New Investigator Award

Supported by the Virendra B. Mahesh New Investigator Fund
This award recognizes an active, Regular Member of the Society for outstanding research completed and published within 12 years after receiving the Ph.D. or other equivalent professional degree.

2022 Award Recipient

David Pépin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Surgery at Harvard Medical School
Associate Director
Pediatric Surgical Research Laboratories
Massachusetts General Hospital


Read Bio

Dr. Pépin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, an Associate Molecular Biologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Associate Director of the Pediatric Surgical Research Laboratories of the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Pépin trained as a reproductive biologist, completing his Ph.D. at the University of Ottawa, Canada, studying the role of SMARCA1 in the regulation of ovarian folliculogenesis under the mentorship of Barbara C. Vanderhyden. Dr. Pépin then pursued his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Patricia K. Donahoe, at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, where he worked on the biology of Mullerian Inhibiting Substance (MIS) and its application to the treatment of ovarian cancer.

Dr. Pépin leads a laboratory investigating the role of MIS in female reproduction and particularly in the context of ovarian function and disease. He described the contraceptive effect of superphysiological MIS in several animal models, examined the transcriptional mechanisms of primordial follicle quiescence, and is pursuing its translation to the clinic for contraception, the control of preantral follicle growth kinetics for assisted reproduction, protection of ovarian reserve during chemotherapy, and aging. He also described the role of progenitor cells involved in sexual differentiation of the urogenital ridge in specifying the development of the uterus and is studying their role in uterine pathologies. Finally, he established mouse models of ovarian cancer and described treatment strategies based on targeting MIS, or its receptor MISR2, and is pursuing other related pathway as therapeutic targets.  His interests include basic reproductive developmental research, applied translational work in women’s health, and the training of fellows and students in reproductive sciences. 

SSR Research Award

Supported by SSR
This award recognizes an active, Regular Member of the Society for outstanding research published during the previous six years.

2022 Award Recipient

Marisa Bartolomei, PhD
Perelman Professor of Cell & Developmental Biology
Co-Director of the Epigenetics Institute
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine


Read Bio

Marisa Bartolomei is the Perelman Professor of Cell & Developmental Biology and co-Director of the Epigenetics Institute at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. She received her BS from the University of Maryland and then obtained her PhD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She subsequently trained as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Shirley Tilghman at Princeton University. In 1993, Dr. Bartolomei was appointed as an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 1999 and Professor in 2006. She was also an Investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In 2006, Dr. Bartolomei received the Society for Women's Health Research Medtronics Prize for Contributions to Women's Health. In 2011, Dr. Bartolomei received the Jane Glick Graduate School Teaching Award for the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and a MERIT award from the NIH. She was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2014 and was elected Member-At-Large of the Section on Biological Sciences for AAAS (2016-2020 term).  Dr. Bartolomei is the recipient of the 2017 Genetics Society Medal from the UK Genetics Society and is a Member of National Academy of Sciences (2021 election). Dr. Bartolomei has engaged in service to the scientific community in multiple capacities, including membership on NIH and March of Dimes grant review panels, as an editor/associate editor/editorial board member of Human Molecular Genetics, PLOS Genetics and PNAS Nexus and on various SSR committees. She currently serves as Chair of the Advisory Council for the Frontiers in Reproduction Course. Dr. Bartolomei’s research addresses the epigenetic mechanisms of genomic imprinting and X inactivation, as well as the impact of adverse environmental insults (endocrine disrupting compounds and assisted reproductive technologies) on epigenetic gene regulation using the mouse as a model.

SSR Trainee Mentoring Award

Supported by the SSR Trainee Mentoring Fund
This award recognizes an active, Regular Member of the Society who as a mentor has had a significant impact on Trainees within the SSR. The Trainee Mentoring Award is intended for individuals who exceed the basic roles of an academic advisor and becomes a mentor to those with whom they interact.

2022 Award Recipient

Thomas E. Curry, Jr. , PhD
Professor and Vice-Chair for Research
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
University of Kentucky

Read Bio

Thomas E. Curry, Jr. is Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the College of Medicine at the University of Kentucky.  He has a longstanding research interest in ovarian physiology.  Defects in ovulation are the major cause of female infertility. Dr. Curry’s research has focused on this fundamental process with the goal of identifying key regulatory pathways. Understanding such pathways could potentially improve fertility or, conversely, be targets for contraception. Currently, he is PI of an NIH R01 that examines ovarian function across species in collaboration with Dr. Mats Brannstrom at the University of Goteburg, Sweden, and Dr. Diane Duffy at Eastern Virginia Medical School.  In 2021, Dr. Curry was named a University Research Professor, recognizing his excellence in research and creative work that addresses scientific, social, cultural, economic and health challenges in our region and around the world.

Throughout his academic career, Dr. Curry has had the privilege to train the breadth of inquisitive minds from undergraduate students to junior faculty.  He has trained over 60 medical students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and medical fellows in his laboratory.  Dr. Curry has also trained junior faculty in women’s health research through his role as research director and PI of the NIH Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) in Women’s Health program (2000-2010) and the NIH Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) program (2000–present).  The University of Kentucky BIRCWH program has trained 32 young faculty investigators in women’s health.  Dr. Curry also assists the research careers of faculty across the UK campus as the Director of the Pilot Programs for the NIH Center for Clinical and Translational Science and the NIEHS Center for Appalachian Research in Environmental Sciences (CARES), supporting the next generation of team science-oriented translational science. 

 The Society for the Study of Reproduction has been the “home” society for Dr. Curry throughout his career.  He has served on the Board of Directors, the Program Committee, the Nominating Committee, the Publications Committee and was the Chair during the recent transition of Biology of Reproduction to Oxford University Press.  Since he was mentored and grew up in the SSR, this award is truly a great honor! But this award is just a reflection of the privilege of having so many talented young scientists come through his lab who have progressed to touch numerous, varied disciplines in science.

Fuller W. Bazer SSR International Scientist Award

Supported by Fuller W. Bazer, Ph.D.
This award recognizes an outstanding International Scientist who has consistently demonstrated excellence in research and graduate education at an institution outside of North America. The individual demonstrates outstanding potential for leading and directing scientific research overseas.

2022 Award Recipient

Moira O’Bryan, PhD
Professor and Executive Dean
The University of Melbourne, Australia

Read Bio

Dr O’Bryan graduated from The University of Melbourne in 1994 with a BSc(hon) then PhD in the area of immunology and reproductive biology. Subsequently, she was awarded an Andrew Mellon Foundation Fellowship to work at The Population Council in New York in the field of contraceptive development. She returned to Australia in 1996 as a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Peter Doherty Fellowship to work at Monash Institute of Reproduction and Development (now the Hudson Institute), Monash University, where she established a lab focused on male fertility. In 2009 she moved to the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology at Monash University as Deputy Head of Department. She was appointed Program Lead (Development and Stem Cells) within the Monash Biomedical Discovery Institute in 2015, and Deputy Director in 2016. In 2017 she assumed the role of the Head of the School of Biological Sciences within the Faculty of Science at Monash University, and in 2020 she was appointed Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science at The University of Melbourne. The focus of Dr O’Bryan’s research encompasses sperm development and function, genetic causes of human infertility, and the implications for ‘reproductive’ proteins on health broadly. She directs a multidisciplinary and highly collaborative research program covering fundamental research, and clinical medicine. In her role as Dean, she directs a large faculty spanning physics, chemistry, life and ecological sciences, mathematics, geosciences and human geography.

Dr O’Bryan has received research-based fellowships and awards from numerous agencies including the NHMRC, the Australian Academy of Science, the Fertility Society of Australia, the Endocrine Society of Australia, and the Society for Reproductive Biology (SRB). She was the 2008 American Society of Andrology (ASA) “Young Andrologist of the Year”, the 2015 Anne McLaren Memorial Lecturer (Society for Reproduction and Fertility, UK) and the 2015 SRB President’s Lecturer. In 2011 she was inducted as an SRB Fellow.

She is an active member of several professional societies and has held committee positions within the SRB, the ASA, and the International Society of Andrology. Within SSR she has been a member of the nominations committee (2018-9), a member of the future meetings committee (2013-6) and a co-chair of the program organising committee (with Bo Rueda, 2018 meeting). She was a member of the ‘Biology of Reproduction’ board of reviewers between 2004-12. She has additionally served on the editorial board of journals including, Molecular Human Reproduction, Fertility and Sterility, PLoS Genetics and eLife. Between 2108-20 she was the President of SSR’s sister society, the Society for Reproductive Biology and a member of the World Congress of Reproductive Biology advisory committee.

In addition to roles related to reproductive biology and education, Dr O’Bryan has played a notable part in the promotion of sciences broadly including via positions as a national director of The Australian Society for Medical Research (2003-5), and as a member (and chair) of the Australian Academy of Science National Committee for Cell and Developmental Biology (2013-7). She is a past member of the Australian Research Council College of Experts (2017-20) and has served in numerous roles within the NHMRC. She has made significant contributions to the infrastructure of Australian research through the establishment of The Australian Phenome Bank and the Australian Centre for Vertebrate Mutation Detection, the Monash Male Infertility Repository and the Australian Phenomics Network.

Janice Bahr Junior Scientist Travel Award

Supported by Janice M. Bahr, Ph.D.
This award recognizes a Regular Member of the Society, an active Assistant Professor or a position of similar rank on the tenure track.

2022 Award Recipient

Joe (Huanyu) Qiao, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Biosciences
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Read Bio

Dr. Joe (Huanyu) Qiao is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biosciences at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He obtained his Ph.D. from Colorado State University at Fort Collins, under Drs. Lorinda Anderson and Stephen Stack in 2010. He completed his postdoctoral training in Dr. Neil Hunter’s lab at Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and the University of California, Davis in 2016. 

The Qiao lab is focusing on three aspects of meiosis, a cell division that produces sperm and oocytes. First, his lab studies the roles of SUMOylation in meiotic checkpoint pathways. They found that RNF212, a SUMO E3-ligase, functions in oocyte quality control. Both physiological apoptosis and the wholesale elimination of oocyte pool in meiotic mutants require RNF212. Their data indicates that RNF212 impedes DNA break repair between sister chromatids and allows oocytes to retain a “memory” of defective inter-homolog interactions that enable quality control processes. Second, his lab investigates 4D (3D spatial + 1D temporal) meiotic genomes by novel Hi-C and micromanipulation approaches. They aimed to understand how conformational changes of meiotic chromosomes impact chromosome pairing, recombination, segregation, and transcription. Third, the Qiao lab tries to understand the effects of environmental toxicants on meiosis. They identified several environmental toxicants that can disrupt meiosis, such as disinfection by-products (DBPs), “forever chemicals”/PFAS, and phthalates.

Opportunities for Support

Donate Today

Award Recipients

“The Society for the Study of Reproduction, and the SSR Awards Committee, would like to extend our sincere congratulations to this year’s SSR Awardees. These Awardees represent the best of a talented group of scientists that make up our society, and are truly exemplary in their service, mentoring and research. We are proud to call them our colleagues and friends, and pleased that their outstanding work has been recognized. This is truly a deserving group of Awardees.”
- 2018 Awards Chair, Rebecca Krishner

View Past Recipients