Alumni Spotlight on Dr. Seth Barishansky, MD
Seth Barishansky, MS, MD, is an alum of the MS-RSM Program, Class of 2019. He completed the non-thesis track and conducted research with Dr. Pamela Monahan. He is currently a second year resident at George Washington University.
Name: Seth Barishansky
MS-RSM Class of 2019
Mentor: Dr. Pamela Monahan, PhD
Project title: Influence of Estrogen on Notch Signaling in Granulosa Cells
What is your connection to the CRS community (mentor and position) and what is your current position?
I was a graduate of the 2019 MS-RSM class. During my time at Northwestern, I worked with Dr. Monahan on a project aiming to learn more about the potential crosstalk between estrogen and Notch signaling pathways implicated in the development and progression of multioocytic follicles and premature ovarian failure.
After graduating, I completed my last year of medical school and am now a second-year resident in Obstetrics & Gynecology at George Washington University in our nation’s capital. I am still deeply connected to the CRS community and work closely with Dr. Mary Ellen Pavone and Dr. Angela Lawson. We are in the manuscript writing stage for two studies. The first study is a cross-sectional survey examining the practices, knowledge, and perceptions of intimate partner violence among US reproductive endocrinologists. The second was a multi-year study investigating the desire for multifetal gestation in infertility patients as well as patients presenting for planned fertility preservation. I was also extremely fortunate to receive mentorship from Dr. Francesca Duncan and contribute to a recent publication “Fibroinflammatory Signatures Increase with Age in the Human Ovary and Follicular Fluid.”
Could you describe your current research/studies?
I am currently studying maternal marijuana use and its relationship with rates of miscarriage and infertility. I am also investigating factors and characteristics of those considering embryo donation with the division of Reproductive Endocrinology at the NIH.
What aspect(s) of CRS did you find most valuable?
The CRS exposes its trainees to a wide array of experts from clinicians, reproductive biologists, statisticians, embryologists, etc. What makes the CRS unique is the collaboration and multidisciplinary approach among those trained in different disciplines with a common goal to advance reproductive science. The helps accelerate projects ‘from bench to bedside’ and adds a nuanced level of translational value to many of the important projects that are ongoing.
What has been the most valuable aspect to your training as a reproductive scientist in CRS?
During my non-thesis project, I utilized core laboratory skills such as cell culture of primary and immortalized cells, gene and protein analysis, gene knockdown and promoter analysis using reporter constructs; all new skills that I will be able to use future projects. I also learned how to conduct rigorous and reproducible research based on my own inklings and questions through navigation of IRB, developing the necessary skills for statistical analysis, and most importantly learning to communicate novel findings to a diverse audience.
What would you recommend to junior scientists in order for them succeed in their scientific careers?
Never view a rejection or hurdle as a failure but use it a learning tool for the next project. Performing scientific research is hard! But the payoff is worth it and there is a lesson (or two) that can be gleaned from each experience.
What do you think will be the next big contribution in the reproductive biology field?
I was excited to learn about male contraception at the Oncofertility Conference and other informative lectures as a budding MS-RSM student. I am even more excited to learn about the Ovarian Contraceptive Discovery Initiative, a multi-institutional project to uncover novel, female-targeted, non-hormonal contraceptives, that is overseen by Dr. Francesca Duncan. Contraception and its accessibility to patients is something I deal with on a daily basis as an OB/GYN resident.
Do you have any notable stories from your time in CRS?
I stumbled upon a bin of textbooks that were being discarded outside one of the labs I would work in. I was fortunate to acquire two books that were previously owned by Dr. Neena Schwartz, a pioneer of the CRS to say the least. The books have all her personal annotations and are a treasured addition to my library.