Professor Appointed Vice President of New England Fertility Society
Assistant Professor of Epidemiology Shruthi Mahalingaiah has been appointed vice president of the New England Fertility Society (NEFS) for 2019. The nonprofit organization consists of physicians, nurses, researchers, attorneys, patient advocates, and other professionals in the field of reproductive medicine who convene to share ideas, network, and provide continuing education about topics in the field of infertility.
Mahalingaiah has participated with NEFS since 2008 and officially joined the organization in 2012. She previously served on the organization’s research committee, working to adjudicate grants.
“It’s such a diverse group of people, and it’s really fun to exchange ideas and discuss topics,” Mahalingaiah says. “It’s reinforcing to come together with other people in the field of reproductive medicine to support each other in our practices, as well as learn about cutting-edge research.”
Mahalingaiah is also an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the School of Medicine and an obstetrician/gynecologist at Boston Medical Center, specializing in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. She received a Master of Science in epidemiology from SPH and a medical degree from Harvard Medical School.
As NEFS vice president, Mahalingaiah plans to identify meeting speakers who focus on science, policy, and reproduction topics such as human embryo gene editing. She has already invited Fyodor Urnov, associate director at Altius Institute for Biomedical Sciences, to speak at the organization’s annual meeting in May. Urnov has developed in vitro models for neurodegenerative disease.
“I met Fyodor at a National Academy of Science meeting on the promise of genome editing tools to advance environmental health research, so it was nice to have that connection as we navigate this year’s accelerating to using these technologies in human reproduction,” Mahaligaiah says.
Mahalingaiah’s current research focuses on environmental exposures, infertility, and ovulation disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome. She was a Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health scholar, examining environmental exposures and risk of gynecologic disease incidence. Earlier this year, Mahalingaiah authored a study finding that air pollution is associated with irregular menstrual cycles in teens.
Mahalingaiah is currently working with Kevin Lane, assistant professor of environmental health, on a menstrual cycle mobile application tool that aims to identify harmful environmental exposure, with a goal of reducing the risk of irregular cycles and achieving optimal fertility for women who are interested in conceiving.