A new center has been established at Baylor College of Medicine with a focus on advancing reproductive health through research, training, outreach, and increased collaborations with existing and new partners.

"Undeniably, gender and reproductive function influences nearly every aspect of life," said Dr. Dolores Lamb, professor of urology and of molecular and cellular biology at BCM, who will direct the new Center for Reproductive Medicine. "Within reproductive medicine, there are several areas that are in critical need of more research."

"Those areas include birth defects of the genitourinary system (reproductive organs and the urinary system) that require surgical correction (the most common birth defects), infertility, problems of pregnancy and pre-term birth, diseases such as endometriosis, varicoceles, gender-based differences in disease incidence affecting many body functions (cardiovascular, neurologic, autoimmunity, etc.), and menopause and andropause, which result in physical changes in women and men, such as osteoporosis and erectile dysfunction," Lamb said.

Dr. Francesco DeMayo, professor of molecular and cellular biology at BCM, and Dr. Martin Matzuk, professor of pathology and immunology at BCM, will serve as associate directors.

The new center will bring together experts in a variety of areas related to reproductive health, including those who specialize in reproductive development, birth defects, contraception, neonatology, fertility preservation/oncology, reproductive disease, female and male infertility, sexual medicine, aging/andropause/menopause, maternal-fetal health, parturition, and pre-term delivery to focus on these important areas.


With increased collaborations among these experts, a major goal of the center will be to advance clinical, translational, and basic research in reproductive medicine.

"This team has a strong foundation in research and currently has approximately $38.5 million in grants," said Lamb. "We are already hard at work on future submittals and we expect to build upon the rich tradition of research in reproductive medicine for which Baylor College of Medicine is internationally recognized."

There will be opportunities for research partnerships across BCM and its hospital partners in many areas including the Center for Globalization, the new National School of Tropical Medicine, Human Genome Sequencing Center at BCM, the NCI-designated Dan L Duncan Cancer Center at BCM, and the departments of medicine, urology, psychiatry, molecular and cellular biology, neuroscience, neurology, molecular and human genetics, pathology & immunology, physiology, pharmacology, radiology, obstetrics and gynecology, and pediatrics.


Training clinician-researchers, translational and basic scientists, and physicians also will be a major focus of this center.

"We want our trainees to become the leaders in this field," said Lamb. "We hope to equip them with knowledge and resources that will lead to advances in research."


Additionally, outreach to BCM alumni, community physicians, and influential experts in reproductive medicine through continuing medical education will be a priority.

"With the molecular revolution in medicine comes the need to enhance communication between researchers and members of the clinical community so that they can better inform one another and work collaboratively through common goals," Lamb said. The advances in the laboratory can truly be translated to the physicians to improve patient diagnosis and care.

"We want to develop a center that it is a great resource for the public and one that will provide them with improved knowledge of basic reproductive medicine," said Lamb.

For more information on the Center for Reproductive Medicine or to inquire about membership, please contact Lauri Nelson at (713) 798-6266 or laurin@bcm.edu.