Science Cafe' 2015 Speaker Series
Reproductive Health Research
Free to the Public

Willow Creek Portland Community College
241 SW Edgeway, Beaverton, Oregon
(NW 185th at Baseline, Willow Creek Max Station)

April 7 -7:00PM “Body Weight, Fertility and the Brain: Understanding How Body Composition Controls Reproduction”          Cadence True, PhD When women are too thin they can stop menstruating and become infertile. This relationship between body composition and fertility is likely an evolutionary mechanism to prevent mammals from becoming pregnant when food is scarce.  With the rising obesity epidemic, too much body fat can also be detrimental to fertility. This talk will focus on understanding how 1) control of female reproductive cycling starts in the brain and 2) hormonal signals to the brain ensuring reproduction only occurs during favorable metabolic conditions.

April 14 -7:00PM  "Gene Therapy for Inherited Mitochondrial Diseases"  Shoukhrat Mitalipov, PhD Maternally inherited diseases caused by mitochondrial gene (mtDNA) mutations affect at least 1 in 5000–10 000 children and are associated with severe clinical symptoms. Novel reproductive techniques designed to replace mutated mtDNA in eggs  have been proposed to prevent transmission of disease from parents to their children. We review the efficacy and safety of these approaches and their associated ethical and regulatory issues. 

April 21 -7:00PM  “Why Family Planning Matters”    Jeffrey Jensen, MD The oral contraceptive pill was introduced in 1960 and the world changed forever.  Where women control their own fertility, they achieve high levels of education and economic power equal to men. In this lecture you will learn about why family planning matters and about current research at OHSU/ONPRC investigating new methods of non-hormonal contraception.

April 28 -7:00PM “Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)  and Infertility in Women: Controversies, Challenges, and Hope for the Future” Richard Stouffer, PhD PCOS was described in 1935, but remains an enigma with regard to causes, treatment, and prevention. Patients typically exhibit symptoms of a hormone disorder (too much androgen) or infertility (unable to become pregnant). However, as a “multisystem” disorder, confusion reigns due to the spectrum of symptoms, cause(s), and therapies. Recent advances in understanding PCOS will be reviewed as well as how these advances could potentially be used to help women who are infertile.