The Wayne State University School of Medicine’s C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development continues to mark 50 years of lifesaving and life-improving research.
The year-long celebration launched with an open house and tours of the facility June 9. More than 70 people attended the event, which featured remarks by School of Medicine Dean Wael Sakr, M.D.; Vice President of Research Stephen Lanier, Ph.D,; Gil Mor, M.D., Ph.D., the John M. Malone Jr., M.D., Endowed Chair and scientific director of the C.S. Mott Center; and Stanley Berry, M.D., interim chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Visitors learned about the center’s basic and gynecological cancer research, and toured the facility’s labs to discover the cutting-edge research taking place, and mingled at a reception.
Dean Sakr spoke of the future of research and the role the Mott Center played.
“In terms of the achievements of Wayne State in certain research endeavor, the Mott Center definitely is one of the standalones,” he said. “There is a diversity of research in human growth and developments, in male and female infertility, and the microbe of the human sperm using pioneering research. They all complement each other, and they really extend to collaborations with many other entities.”
The center, which opened in 1973, is an internationally known research center established to promote research training relating to women’s and children’s health, with a focus on reproductive biology, immunology, oncology, toxicology and prenatal medicine. Its scientists integrate basic, translational and clinical research with the purpose of improving women’s health.
“I knew about the Mott Center for many, many years during my career,” Dr. Mor said. “I knew the amazing place this was and hopefully will be. It has impacted the community and the field of obstetrics and gynecology in many ways.”
That work continues, Dr. Mor said, along with educating future generations of medical researchers, both in labs and through the Discovery to Cure program. The Discovery to Cure program is a high school internship established by Dr. Mor at Yale University in 2003 with the goal of providing high-quality life science research experience to qualified high school students, exposing them to biomedical research careers. In 2019, with Dr. Mor’s appointment as director of the C.S. Mott Center, he initiated the program in Detroit, with the first set of interns hosted in the summer of 2021.
Located at 275 E. Hancock in Detroit, the center has championed a lifespan perspective to reproductive health and an ecological approach to growth, development and well-being. Its faculty engage in a personalized approach to medical treatment and care. The primary mission of the Mott Center is to foster basic and clinical biomedical research on reproduction and development. It offers an integrated doctoral degree program incorporating the teaching, research and physical resources of the Department of Physiology and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The program offers interdisciplinary doctoral training in the reproductive sciences.
The center was renovated during a five-phase reconstruction from 2001 to 2008. In addition to individual Obstetrics and Gynecology researchers’ laboratories and offices, the center houses the research laboratories of the Perinatology Research Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Implantation Laboratory of the Reproductive Biology and Medicine Branch, NICHD Intramural Research Division, the Wayne State University Genomics Facility, a Bioinformatics Center and a Systems Biology section. It also contains one of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Department’s clinical research areas.
The center, in collaboration with the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, also has established the Ovarian Cancer Research Interest Group. The group seeks to bring together scientists and physicians working in the field to merge each investigator’s individual expertise to rapidly find solutions to confront the disease.
The event included tours of labs and the Clinical Research Center, directed by Dr. Sobel. Lab presentations were given by research group leaders, including J. Richard Pilsner, professor and Robert J Sokol, M.D., Endowed Chair of Molecular Obstetrics and Gynecology and director of Molecular Genetics and Infertility; Jayanth Ramadoss, Ph.D., professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and of Physiology; and Ayesha Alvero, M.D., M.Sc., professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Upcoming events in the 50th anniversary celebration include:
Discovery To Cure Graduation – Aug. 19
Michigan Alliance for Reproductive Technologies and Sciences Symposium – Sept. 16
Symposium – April 2023
50-year celebration – June 2023
Gala – June 2023
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