This article is a combination of an autobiography and a review of outstanding research done by over 70 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting scientists along with excellent collaborators during my over-40-year career as a professor of reproductive physiology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. I have also shared thoughts on mentoring, how research has changed over the years, and the future of reproductive physiology. I provide the reader with a snapshot of the challenges faced by a woman eager to obtain a PhD under the guidance of renowned professors in the early 1970s and to be hired as the first woman, and the only permanent female faculty member, for more than 20 years on a faculty of 40 men. As a comparative reproductive physiologist, I describe the various animal models used because they were the best models to answer specific questions in reproduction. Also, my graduate students and postdoctoral fellows were given the freedom to identify their research topics, articulate hypotheses to be tested, and select appropriate animal models. This approach caused students to take ownership of their research, resulting in the development of independent and creative scientists and over 170 publications, excluding chapters in top-tier journals. Finally, I am so grateful for a truly rich life mentoring graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who have become my lifelong friends.
Annual Review of Animal Biosciences – Annual Reviews
Published: Feb 8, 2017