Department of Reproductive Medicine

Postdoctoral Training in Reproductive Sciences

A training program for postdoctoral fellows in Basic, Translational, and Clinical Research in Reproductive Sciences, this program has been continuously funded by NICHD/NIH since 1982 via the T32 training mechanism to support postdoctoral fellows at the UCSD School of Medicine with a commitment to research in reproduction.



This program received the highest honor conferred by NIH for a T32 program, A MENTOR AWARD, in 2003. This award cited our program for excellence and extended the funding for a full ten years.


The goals of this postdoctoral training program are two-fold. The training program for Ph.D. postdoctoral fellows aims to qualify these individuals for future academic faculty or biotechnology positions with a concentration on research in reproductive biology. The training program for the M.D. clinical fellows is designed to qualify individuals for the subspecialty board in reproductive endocrinology and to produce highly qualified physician\scientists with a commitment to clinical and basic research. This training program is designed to provide clinical fellows with a balance of training between clinical and research activities and to support well-rounded training in reproductive biology for basic science postdoctoral fellows. The goal in both cases is to prepare these individuals for successful careers with a complete foundation for leadership in reproductive sciences.


The fellowship-training program in Reproductive Endocrinology was initiated at the inception of the Department of Reproductive Medicine at the University of California, San Diego in 1970. Beginning in 1982, this T32 Institutional Training Grant was funded by the NIH/NICHD. This grant has been consistently renewed and has been funded now for 27 years, first under the leadership of Dr. Samuel S.C. Yen, M.D. (with Dr. Pamela L. Mellon as Co-Director 1993-1998), and renewed in 1998 under the present leadership of Dr. Mellon, Ph.D., Director, and Dr. R. Jeffrey Chang, M.D., Co-Director, who have directed this training program for through two competing renewals, the second of which resulted in this MENTOR award as an outstanding program in 2003 allowing for automatic renewal for 2008-2013.  This grant was renewed for 2013-2018 with a perfect score.


This cohesive group of faculty members provides a conducive academic environment to pursue high quality and contemporary training. The faculty mentors and their expertise are listed below:

DIRECTOR of the Training Program

PAMELA MELLON, Ph.D. – Vice-Chair for Research, Professor of Reproductive Medicine and Neurosciences, Director of the NICHD Center for Reproductive Science and Medicine and the NIH Training Program for junior faculty, the Women’s Reproductive Health Research Program.

Molecular and genetic mechanisms in the neuroendocrine regulation of mammalian reproduction.Mellon Laboratory Website

CO-DIRECTOR of the Training Program:

R. JEFFREY CHANG, M.D. - Professor and Director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.

Reproductive and metabolic processes in ovarian disorders.

Faculty Mentors:

ALEXANDER SASHA KAUFFMAN, Ph.D.- Assistant Professor of Reproductive Medicine.

Neuroendocrinology of reproductive physiology and fertility.
Laboratory Website

MARK A. LAWSON, Ph.D. – Associate Professor of Reproductive Medicine

Mechanisms of reproductive hormones and regulation of gene expression.
Laboratory Website

JERROLD OLEFSKY, M.D.- Associate Dean for Scientific Affairs and Professor of Medicine.
Metabolic effects in reproduction and diabetes.

SHUNICHI SHIMASAKI, Ph.D. - Professor of Reproductive Medicine.

Molecular mechanism of growth factor control in folliculogenesis.

H. IRENE SU, M.D., M.S.C.E. - Assistant Professor Epidemiology


Oncofertility, ovarian aging


VARYKINA THACKRAY, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of Reproductive Medicine

Transcriptional control of gonadotropin hormone genes

Laboratory Website

NICHOLAS J.G. WEBSTER, Ph.D.- Professor of Medicine.

Metabolic effects in reproduction and signaling in the pituitary.

MILES WILKINSON, Ph.D. – Professor of Reproductive Medicine

Transcriptional regulatory pathways that control embryonic stem cell and germ cell development in vivo.

Laboratory Website


Current and Recent Trainees Dates of Appt. Mentor Current Position
Armando Arroyo MD 06/30/98-06/29/99 Mellon Assistant Professor, Univ. Buffalo
Bridgette Kirkpatrick PhD 08/15/98-08/14/99 Mellon Prof. of Biotechnology, College TX
Patrick Chappell PhD 10/01/99-09/30/00 Mellon Assist Prof. Oregon State Univ.
R. Kelly Moore PhD 09/01/00-08/31/01 Shimasaki Foley & Lardner LLP, Law Clerk, Patent Law
Ketan Patel MD 09/01/00-08/31/01 Chang Medical Director, Arizona REI, Scottsdale
Michael Dahan MD 07/01/01-06/30/02 Chang Assistant Professor, McGill University
Richard Y. Yoo MD 04/01/02-3/31/03 Chang Physician, REI, Kaiser, San Diego
Varykina Thackray PhD 09/01/02-08/31/03 Mellon Associate Professor, UCSD
Fred Robinson PhD 04/01/03-03/31/04 Dixon Assistant Professor, OHSU
Robert Dearth PhD 10/01/03-05/31/04 Mellon Asst Professor, U. Texas Pan American
Johanna Archer MD 07/01/03-06/30/04 Chang Asst. Professor, University of Louisville
Lisa A. Lesneiwski PhD 04/01/04-03/31/05 Olefsky Asst Professor, Internal Med & Geriatrics, Univ. Utah
Rinku Mehta PhD 07/01/04-06/29/05 Chang Physician, Cntr for Assisted Reproduction, Bedford, TX
Hao Zhang PhD 04/01/05-03/31/06 Webster Chief Technical Officer, ProMab Biotechnologies Inc, Richmand, CA
Mickey S. Coffler MD 02/01/05-01/31/06 Chang Infertility Specialist, Huntington Reproductive Center
Carl DeLuca PhD 09/01/05-08/31/06 Olefsky Senior Clinical Science Manager, Abbott Laboratories
Deborah S. Wachs MD 03/01/06-02/28/07 Chang Infertility Specialist, Reproductive Science Center of the Bay Area
Matthew Gentry PhD 03/01/06-02/28/07 Dixon Assistant Professor, Mol Cell Biochem Sept, Univ Kentucky College of Medicine
Melissa Brayman PhD 11/01/06-10/31/07 Mellon Lawyer, Foley & Lardner LLP, Univ. of San Diego Law School
Brian D. Cherrington PhD 06/01/06-05/31/07 Mellon Asst Professor, Molecular Endocrinology, Dept of Zoology and Physiology, Univ Wyoming
Amy M. Navratil PhD 06/01/06-05/31/07 Lawson Asst Professor, Reproductive Endocrinology, Gardner/Fiske Professor of Physiology, Dept of Zoology and Pysiology, Univ. of Wyoming
Debin Lan PhD 07/01/07-06/30/08 Webster Asst. Project Scientist, UCSD
Marcus Rosencranz MD 02/01/08-01/31/09 Chang Repro Endocrinology & Infertility Physician, OB/GYN, Kaiser, Orange County
Alice Park MD 04/01/08-03/31/09 Chang Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility Physician, CHA Fertility Centre, Los Angeles
Emily Rickert PhD 07/01/08-06/30/09 Lawson Postdoctoral Fellow, UCSD
Christine Glidewell-Kenney PhD 09/01/08-08/30/09 Mellon Scientist, Illumina Inc. San Diego
Yvonne Hoang PhD 01/01/09-12/31/09 Shimasaki Research Scientist, ScienCell Research Labs, Carlsbad, Ca.
Heidi Cook-Anderson PhD 07/01/09-06/30/10 Shimasaki Asst. Professor, UCSD
De'Niise McKee PhD 09/01/09-08/30/10 Lawson

Adjunct Professor, St. Mary's University, National University

Sheila Seman PhD 09/01/09-08/30/10 Kauffman Associate Product Manager, Biosearch Technologies, Inc.
Sandy Chuan, M.D. 07/01/10-06/30/11 Chang Fertility Specialist, San Diego Fertility Center
Danalea Skarra, PhD 10/01/11-09/30/12 Thackray Postdoctoral Fellow, UCSD
Kevin Maas, MD, PhD 04/01/12-03/31/13 Chang Fertility Specialist Idaho Center for Reproductive Medicine
Kristen Tolson, PhD 04/01/12-03/31/13 Kauffman Postdoctoral Fellow, UCSD
Ekaette Mbong, PhD 04/01/13-03/31/14 Lawson AAAS S&T Policy Fellow at the NSF
Jingwen Hou, MD, PhD 04/01/13-03/31/14 Chang Staff Physician of REI Divison, OBGYN Dept.  Hawaii Permanente Group, Honolulu Clinic
Erica Schoeller, PhD 08/01/13-07/31/14 Mellon Postdoctral Fellow, UCSD
Shannon Stephens, PhD 09/01/13-08/30/14 Kauffman Postdoctoral Fellow, UCSD
Taeshin Kim, PhD 11/01/13-10/31/14 Lawson Postdoctoral Fellow, UCSD
Terra Plank, PhD 05/01/14-04/30/15 Wilkinson Postdoctoral Fellow, UCSD
Melvin Rouse, PhD 06/01/14-05/31/15 Kauffman Postdoctoral Fellow, UCSD
Michael Homer, MD 07/01/14-06/30/15 Chang REI Clinical Fellow, UCSD
Manuel Doblado, MD 07/01/15-06/30/16 Chang REI Clinical Fellow, UCSD
Karen Tonsfeldt, PhD 08/01/15-07/31/16 Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, UCSD


Training in Clinical Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility

Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program Courses

Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Laboratory Website

Examples of Seminars (pdf download)

Examples of Journal Club Meetings (pdf download)

Training in Bioethics