Notable Achievements

Drs. Lipshultz and Herati at AUA 2016 (320x240)
Dr. Larry Lipshultz, left, received the 2016 Distinguished Reproductive Urology Award and Dr. Amin Herati received the 2016 Arnold Belker Traveling Fellow Award, during the American Urological Association 2016 Annual Meeting in May. 

Our center's leadership, members and students are often recognized for their work and service in the area of reproductive medicine. See notable achievements, which include:

Kjersti Aagaard, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Aagaard, professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was a 2015 recipient of the Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., Excellence in Research Award. Named in honor of the college's first president and pioneering heart surgeon, Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, this award is given to Baylor College of Medicine faculty members who have made the most significant published scientific contribution to clinical or basic biomedical research during the past three years. In May 2015, Dr. Aagaard was awarded for her work on, "Pregnancy, Heredity, and Programming: Coding the Future." For additional information about her work view the news release.

Matthew Anderson, M.D., Ph.D.
In Oct. 2015, Dr. Anderson, assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, received a $50,000 KK125 Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation Award to further advance his research into looking at new ways to prevent and detect ovarian cancer earlier. With this funding, Dr. Anderson will study how viral or other infections of the distal fallopian tube contribute to early events causing ovarian cancer.

Michael Belfort, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Belfort, obstetrician and gynecologist-in-chief of Texas Children’s Hospital and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, received the 2016 Kathryn S. Stream Award for Excellence in Women’s Health, in April 2016. Presented by the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce, this award recognizes a Houston-area researcher, educator, practitioner, or community leader with a record of achievement in advancing women’s health.

Cenk Cengiz, B.S.
During the Texas Genetics Society 43rd Annual Meeting in April 2016, Cenk Cengiz, research tech II in the Department of Urology, received the Best Technician Poster Presentation Award for his poster, "The Down Expression of NPAS2 Predicts Low Testosterone Levels Due to Decreased Expression of StAR." 

Amin Herati, M.D.
In April 2016, Dr. Herati, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Urology, received the 2016 NIH Trainee Travel Award during the 41st Annual American Society of Andrology (ASA) Conference for his abstract, "IFT140 is a Novel Candidate Gene for Impaired Spermatogenesis: Identification by Whole Exome Sequencing and Validation for Sanger Sequencing." In May 2016, he received the 2016 Arnold Belker Traveling Fellow Award during the American Urological Association 2016 Annual Meeting for the same research.  

In Oct. 2016, Dr. Herati received the SMRU Lipshultz/Lamb Traveling Scholar Award during the ASRM Annual Meeting for his oral presentation, “More than a Flagellar Protein: IFT140 is a Male Infertility Candidate that may Modulate Cell Signaling.”

During the American Society of Andrology (ASA) 42nd Annual Meeting in April 2017, Dr. Herati received the NIH Trainee Travel Award AND Outstanding Trainee Investigator Award for his work on, “Knockdown of IFT140 May Disrupt Spermatogenesis by Dysregulating the NFkB Signaling Pathway.”

Carolina Jorgez, Ph.D.
Dr. Jorgez, assistant professor of Urology and the Center for Reproductive Medicine, received the 2015 Society of Women in Urology Elisabeth Pickett Research Award for her work on “The Role of Nuclear Mitochondrial Genes in Urethral Development and Pathology.” This award supports research grants for basic, translation, or clinical urologic research. Dr. Jorgez presented her research at the American Urological Association meeting in May 2015.

In June 2016 Dr. Jorgez was awarded the 2016 Caroline Wiess Law Fund for Research in Molecular Medicine. This award will further advance Dr. Jorgez’s laboratory focus on understanding how the genitourinary tract normally develops and functions, and how defects in these processes result in male infertility and common congenital defects that affect testicular descent.

Rose Khavari, M.D.
In Oct. 2015, Dr. Khavari, assistant professor of Urology, and a KURe K12 scholar, was selected for the Houston Methodist Institute for Academic Medicine (IAM) Clinician Scientists Recruitment and Retention Program, for her clinical and research accomplishments and proposed work in leading neurology and pelvic reconstruction medicine research. This program supports the IAM in advancing its core missions to deliver integrated and high-quality patient care, educate the next generation of healthcare providers and providers-in-training, perform research that expands our understanding of human disease and create new tools for improved health. 

In Oct. 2015, Dr. Khavari received the 2016 American Urological Association (AUA)/European Association of Urology (EAU) Academic Exchange Program Award. This program provides young urology faculty with an international perspective on urologic medicine. In March 2016, Dr. Khavari will travel to various urology institutions in Europe and present a scientific lecture on her reproductive science research. 

In Nov. 2015, Dr. Khavari received the 2015 Society of Urodynamics Female Pelvic Medicine & Urogenital Reconstruction (SUFU) Research Foundation Grant for the Study of Chemodenervation funded by The Allergen Foundation. Dr. Khavari was awarded a $15,000 grant for her project, “Evaluation of Central Inhibitory Effects of Intravesical Injection of Botulinum toxin A in Patients with Neurogenic and Non-neurogenic Detrusor Overactivity.” Dr. Khavari will make a presentation on her findings during the SUFU Winter Meeting in February 2018 and submit a manuscript for publication in the SUFU journal, Neurology and Urodynamics.

In May 2016, Dr. Khavari received third place in the 2016 Early Career Investigator Showcase Research Scholar Award for her poster, “Increased Understanding of Central Nervous System Control of Micturition in Lower Urinary Tract Disorders,” at the American Urological Association 2016 Annual Meeting. 

Mohit Khera, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H.
Dr. Khera, associate professor of Urology, was invited to speak at the Third International Conference on Regenerative Medicine and Its Cultural Impact, hosted at the Vatican in Italy, to discuss advancements in stem cell research and therapies. The international conference was held April 28 - 30, 2016, with a focus on pediatric cancers, rare genetic diseases and diseases that occur with aging. 

Taylor Kohn
During the American Society of Andrology (ASA) 42nd Annual Meeting in April 2017, Taylor Kohn, medical student at Baylor, received the NIH Trainee Travel Award for his abstract, “Effect of Sperm Morphology on Intrauterine Insemination Pregnancy Success: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.”  

2016 Early Career Investigator Showcase Research Scholar – Third Place (320x240)
CRM members, Drs. Rose Khavari and Alexander Pastuszak (middle) received third place in the 2016 Early Career Investigator Showcase Research Scholar Award at the American Urological Association 2016 Annual Meeting. 

Ramakrishna Kommagani, Ph.D.
Dr. Kommagani, postdoctoral associate in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, received the Endocrine Society 2015 Early Investigators Award during the Endocrine Society’s 97th Annual Meeting in March 2015. Dr. Kommagani was recognized for his research focusing on the delineation of molecular mechanisms of steroid hormone actions in the female reproductive-tract, particularly in two endocrine-related conditions adversely affecting a woman's reproductive health--early implantation and endometriosis. 

Larry Lipshultz, M.D.
Dr. Lipshultz, professor of Urology and chief of the Scott Department of Urology's Division of Male Reproductive Medicine and Surgery, received the 2015 American Medical Systems F. Brantley Scott Award of Excellence from Baylor College of Medicine. This award recognizes the urological contributions of Dr. Scott, a former Baylor professor, and furthers his legacy through physical education and training for urologists around the world. In April 2015, Dr. Lipshultz was honored for his passion, expertise, and dedication in educating fellow physicians on the safe and effective use of American Medical Systems (AMS) products and the impact it has made on medicine and the quality of life for patients.

Through the Society for the Study of Male Reproduction (SSMR), Dr. Lipshultz was presented the 2016 Distinguished Reproductive Urology Award during the American Urological Association (AUA) 2016 Annual Meeting in May 2016. 

Philip Lupo, Ph.D.
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s Consortium Research Grant was awarded to Dr. Lupo, assistant professor of Pediatrics-Oncology in July 2017. The grant will support his project, “Reducing Ethnic Disparities in Acute Leukemia (REDIAL) Consortium,” which aims to expand and enhance an established network of childhood cancer centers. The consortium will work to tackle ethnic outcome disparities by generating an unmatched resource of clinical information and biological samples. This information will then be used to predict those who have the greatest risk of poor outcomes, with a focus on those of Hispanic ethnicity, to improve prevention and treatment strategies.

Martin M. Matzuk, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Matzuk, director of the Center for Drug Discovery and vice chair of the Department of Pathology and Immunology, and founding member of the Center for Reproductive Medicine was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in April 2015. Dr. Matzuk's research focuses on discovering the critical proteins and mechanisms involved in both normal and abnormal reproductive development.

Dr. Matzuk also received the 2015 Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR) Trainee Mentoring Award in June 2015. This award recognizes Dr. Matzuk for the significant impact his scientific intuition, enthusiasm, and professional guidance has made on SSR trainees, including over 40 Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows, and serving on the thesis committees for many others. He is also a professor with the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics and co-director of the Medical Scientist Training Program at Baylor.

Amy Lynn McGuire, J.D., Ph.D.
Dr. McGuire, director of the Center of Medical Ethics and Health Policy and Leon Jaworski Professor of Biomedical Ethics, was named a 2016 Woman on the Move by Texas Executive Women, an organization of professional female executives who come together to network, share experiences, and actively participate in the community. Dr. McGuire accepted her award at a luncheon on Nov. 5, 2016.

Diana Monsivais, Ph.D.
In July 2016, Dr. Monsivais, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pathology and Immunology, received the 2016 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Enrichment Award to further her research on infertility treatments by studying the signaling pathways that regulate implantation and post-implantation processes in the uterus.

2017 DeBakey Award Recipient (320x240)
Dr. Bert W. O'Malley with Drs. Paul Klotman and George Noon

Bert W. O’Malley, M.D.
Dr. O’Malley, chair and professor of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, received the Endocrine Society 2015 Laureate Outstanding Innovation Award during the Endocrine Society’s 97th Annual Meeting in March 2015. Considered the father of endocrinology, Dr. O'Malley, was recognized for his innovative discoveries of the molecular pathways underlying steroid hormone action and their extraordinary impact on the endocrinology field over the past 40 years. His early pioneering discovery that the action of steroid hormones in endocrine tissues is a consequence of their ability to regulate gene selective transcriptional responses within the cell’s nucleus changed the field of steroid hormone action, leading endocrine investigators toward hormonal control of gene transcription, and served as a primary stimulus for creation of the field of molecular endocrinology.

In May 2017, Dr. Bert O’Malley received the 2017 Michael E. DeBakey Award for Excellence in Research. Named in honor of the college's first president and pioneering heart surgeon, Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, this award is given to Baylor College of Medicine faculty members who have made the most significant published scientific contribution to clinical or basic biomedical research during the past three years. For additional information about his work see the Baylor Press Release.

Marisol O’Neill 
During the American Society of Andrology (ASA) 42nd Annual Meeting in April 2017, O’Neill, graduate student in the Urology lab of Dr. Dolores Lamb, received the NIH Trainee Travel Award for her poster, “MAZ Haploinsufficiency Alters Baculum Morphogenesis in Mice” AND the North American Testis Workshop Travel Award for her work on, “ADCY2 is a Candidate Gene for the Development of Congenital Genitourinary Anomalies Through Partial Disruption of Steroidogenesis.”

Alexander Pastuszak, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Pastuszak, assistant professor of Urology, received the Society for the Study of Male Reproduction 2015 Arnold Belker Traveling Fellowship Award for “A Role for CTDSPL in Fibrosis And Plaque Calcification in Peyronie’s Disease.” The SSMR presents this award to promote the advancement of the science and treatment of male reproduction and sexual disorders. Dr. Pastuszak presented his research at the American Urological Association meeting in May 2015.

In May 2016, Dr. Pastuszak received third place in the 2016 Early Career Investigator Showcase Research Scholar Award for his poster, “Low Serum Testosterone is Associated with Elevations in High-Sensitivity Cardiovascular Disease Biomarkers,” at the American Urological Association 2016 Annual Meeting. 

Dr. Pastuszak received the 2017 Urology Care Foundation Research Scholar Award for his project, “Characterization of the Role of NELL1 in the Predisposition to Fibrosis in Peyronie’s Disease,” during the American Urological Association’s (AUA) 2016 annual meeting.

Alex Ridgeway, Ph.D. 
Dr. Ridgeway, postdoctoral associate in the Department of Urology, presented his thesis research, "Epigenomic Profiling Identifies Aberrant DNA Methylation Mediated Silencing of MSH5 in Non-obstructive Azoospermia"--for which he received the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology Traveling Scholars Program Award during the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in October 2014.

David Rowley, Ph.D.
In Dec. 2016, Dr. Rowley, professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, received the first Faculty Senate Leadership Award. This award honored Dr. Rowley for his exceptional commitment to his colleagues and the College, including his work on developing a fully State Department-compliant J-1 Visa Applicant Process.

In July 2017, Dr. Rowley was named Director of Foundational Curriculum for the School of Medicine. He will also continue his membership and leadership in the Curricular Renewal Task Force. 

Peggy Smith, Ph.D.
In March 2017, Dr. Smith, director of the Baylor Teen Health Clinic and professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was honored with the 2017 David C. Wiley Award by the Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, for her dedication towards teen pregnancy prevention efforts, and tireless work on behalf of young people in Texas.

In May 2017, Dr. Smith was named to the Houston Endowment Steering Committee for Reducing Maternal Mortality whose mission focuses on developing a comprehensive, community-wide plan to reduce maternal mortality in Houston and Harris County.

In May 2017, Dr. Smith received the 2017 Champions of Children Award from the Children’s Defense Fund –Texas for her leadership in programs that address health disparities and health risks among teens and young adults.

Maria Szwarc, Ph.D.
During the Society for the Study of Reproduction Annual Meeting in June 2017, Dr. Szwarc, postdoctoral associate in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Lab of Dr. Bert O'Malley, received second place in the Trainee Research Platform for her work on, “The ZBTB-16 Transcription Factor is Required for Endometrial Stromal Cell Decidualization.”

Li Xin, Ph.D.
Dr. Xin, associate professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, was a 2015 recipient of the Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., Excellence in Research Award. Named in honor of the college's first president and pioneering heart surgeon, Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, this award is given to Baylor College of Medicine faculty members who have made the most significant published scientific contribution to clinical or basic biomedical research during the past three years. In May 2015, Dr. Xin was awarded for her work on, "Prostate Epithelial Lineage Hierarchy." For additional information about his work view the news release.

Boryana Zhelyazkova
During the American Society of Andrology (ASA) 42nd Annual Meeting in April 2017, Zhelyazkova, graduate student in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, received the NIH Trainee Travel Award for her poster, “Hmgn5 Role in Testis Development."