Get the Inside Scoop on our CRS Summit Speakers – Spotlight on Dr. Rebecca Krisher and Dr. T. Rajendra Kumar!
By: Francesca Duncan, Executive Director, CRS, May 16, 2017
In preparation for our upcoming CRS Reproductive Science and Medicine Summit, the trainee organizing committee has been busy getting to know our speakers. Featured this week are two interviews with Dr. Rebecca Krisher and Dr. T. Rajendra Kumar. Register for the Summit now and have the opportunity to interact with these vibrant leaders in our field!!!
Rebecca L. Krisher, Ph.D., Research Director, Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine, Reproductive Biologist
Interviewed by Christia Sison, DGP Graduate Student, Bulun Lab
Worst lab mishap: Dr. Krisher had bad luck as a graduate student when she was involved in a project making transgenic cattle. They only had one near term pregnancy – and everyone was excited. However, one Saturday, she received a call that the cow had been struck by lightning and killed! To add salt to the wound, they recovered the calf to test its tissues, and of course, it was transgenic!
Science topic most excited to see develop in future: Dr. Krisher has two: 1) Stem cells, where it will take our field, but especially in regards to differentiation into gametes. 2) Research in follicle activation and in vitro culture because they have huge clinical implications and could one day revolutionize how we treat infertility.
How she chose her career path: Trial and error! Dr. Krisher took a circuitous route to get to where she is, but she’s really happy where she ended up. She especially loves the ability to mentor young scientists with experience.
Non-work hobbies: Dr. Krisher really believes it’s important to have some activity where you can think about something else – to focus on it whole and offer an escape from the worries of work for a short time. She used to own a horse (but her now-husband is literally deathly allergic!) and played golf. Nowadays, she day-hikes, camps, and backpacks a few times a year. She sees it as an amazing, uplifting, and almost spiritual activity. It’s impossible to not feel recharged and renewed.
T. Rajendra (Raj) Kumar, Ph.D., Edgar L. and Patricia M. Makowski Endowed Professor & Associate Vice-Chair of Research, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Colorado Denver-Anschutz Medical Campus
Interviewed by Allison Grover, MS-RSM Student, Duncan Lab
Worst lab mishap: Dr. Kumar was purifying Buffalo pituitary LH as a graduate student in India. He was at the final step of purification which involved dialysis, but he didn’t check the dialysis membrane which was punctured. He lost all my purified sample and nearly 3 weeks worth of non-stop experimental effort - a real disaster! He had to start all over and began collecting the pituitaries from slaughter houses!!
Science topic most excited to see develop in future: Visulaizing how growth factors/hormones send their intracellular signals and orchestrtae gene networks!!
How he chose his career path: Dr. Kumar always wanted to develop a contraceptive drug, having grown up in the most populous country on the planet. That’s how he ended up working on immunochemistry and biochemistry of pituitary hormones. As he was finishing his doctoral degree, he became fascinated with mouse genome manipulation techniques developed by Ralph Brinster and decided to work on transgenic mouse models for pituitary gonadotropins. That’s how he entered into the genetics of reproductive axis research area and has since then used a variety of mouse models to propel his research that now focuses on genetics of ovarian, testis, adipose and bone tissues and how they respond to pituitary hormone signal inputs as a function of aging.
Non-work hobbies: Dr. Kumar loves watching movies, travel mostly by driving, and predicting the winners of Oscar awards and Nobel prizes every year.