Past Sex in Three Cities Lectures

Sex in Three Cities 2018 – Professor Thomas Hildebrandt 

Thank you to Thomas Hildebrandt for joining SRF to discuss his work with amazing animals, which included the last northern male white rhino.

Professor Thomas Hildebrandt is based at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin where he has led a research programme on the reproductive management of zoo animals and wildlife for many years. This has included numerous research explorations around the World to study reproduction in species as diverse and challenging as sharks, sealions, orcas, elephants, octopuses, komodo dragons, rhinos and primates. He is currently the Head of Reproduction Management at IZW as well as being an honorary professor at the University of Melbourne, Australia and University Professor for Wildlife Reproduction Medicine at the Free University of Berlin. Thomas graduated as a veterinary surgeon from the Humboldt University of Berlin in 1993. Since then he has been based at IZW, first as a research scientist and then as a department head. His research has focused on understanding gonadal function.

He has been recipient of numerous Awards and Honours including Recognition of Outstanding Contribution to Obstetrics in Elephants (2008), Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (2012), Career Award from Species Conservation Research Canada (2012) and Conservation Legacy Award USA (2015).

He is also a passionate supporter of the public communication of science, talking at science meetings across the globe and he has also presented his work on the BBC. He has served on numerous advisory bodies in Europe and elsewhere. He has published >140 papers, written 23 book chapters, given over 200 presentations (including 45 plenary lectures) and has 4 patents.


Sex in Three Cities 2017 – Professor Richard Sharpe

The SRF would like to thank Professor Richard Sharpe (MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, The Queen’s Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh) for presenting a fantastic, engaging series of lectures in London, Edinburgh and Nottingham in February 2017. We were delighted that over 400 guests attended the lectures and the feedback given was exceptionally positive. If you were unable to get to any of the lectures or wish to remind yourself of the topics covered, please view the recording of Prof Sharpe’s lecture in Edinburgh below.



Sex in Three Cities 2016 – Professor Graeme Martin

We were delighted with the success of the 2016 SRF Public Lecture Series, Sex in Three Cities. The SRF would like to extend its thanks to Professor Graeme Martin, University of Western Australia, for presenting an engaging lecture, The 3 Ps of Reproduction: Pheromones, Photons and Phood, to over 400 attendees in London, Edinburgh and Nottingham.

Download Professor Martin’s biography and lecture synopsis.



Sex in Three Cities 2015 – Dr Teresa K Woodruff

The Sex in Three Cities 2015 lecture series was presented by Dr Teresa K. Woodruff, Vice Chair for Research at the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Northwestern University in Chicago, USA.

Read a review of Teresa Woodruff’s lecture that was published in Reproduction

Oncofertility was just an idea 10 years ago. Today it is a distinct field of medicine, offering new hope to cancer patients who will survive their disease, with options for preserving their fertility that prior generations lacked. This is an amazing shift for medical practice, with reproductive specialists and oncologists working together to improve patient care.  For the patients at institutions offering oncofertilty options, the discussions taking place between these two very different disciplines have led to interventions-banking eggs, sperm, embryos, or tissue-with the goal of preserving the option for patients to have a future family. For some cancer survivors, that future is now, and they are the proud parent of a child they thought they might not be able to have.

From the bench to the bedside to babies-the mission of oncofertility-in now part of the normal lexicon of centers of excellence around the globe, where oncologists and reproductive specialists make fertility after cancer a priority at the time of diagnosis. The successes in patient care have been paralleled by the efforts of reproductive scientists who are making discoveries in gamete biology that can be rapidly translated to the clinic, and by social scientists who are delving into the complex social, ethical, and personal aspects of oncofertility to facilitate decision-making by patients and their caregivers. This dynamic area will be discussed in Dr. Teresa Woodruff’s Sex in 3 Cities lectures.

About the speaker

Dr. Woodruff is the Thomas J. Watkins Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, the Vice Chair of Research (OB/GYN), the Chief of the Division of Reproductive Science in Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine and Professor of Molecular Biosciences at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University. She is an internationally recognized expert in ovarian biology and, in 2006, coined the term “oncofertility” to describe the merging of two fields: oncology and fertility. She now heads the Oncofertility Consortium, an interdisciplinary team of biomedical and social scientist experts from across the country.  She founded and directs the Oncofertility Saturday Academy (OSA), one of several high school outreach programs that engages girls in basic and medical sciences, and developed the concept for a National Physicians Cooperative in Oncofertility (NPC) in order to link medical practices interested in fertility preservation protocols.

Dr. Woodruff also serves as the founding director of the Women’s Health Research Institute, which has as its mission ‘science to care’ and ensuring that sex and gender are part of the research mission.  Because of her work in inclusion, she was recently interviewed by Leslie Stahl and was highlighted on a 60 Minutes report and has written extensively on inclusion of sex and gender in science and medicine (PNAS, Nature). She was named to the Time Magazine 2013 list of the Worlds Most Influential People as the only scientist on the list and was voted 112th.  Dr. Woodruff was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Mentoring in an oval office ceremony (2011) and her other awards include the Beacon Award from Frontiers in Reproduction (2013), the Women in Science Award from the Weitzman Institute (2012), and an Alumni Association Merit Award from Northwestern (2012).

In addition to her academic stewardship, she also served as the President of the Endocrine Society from 2013-2014. Dr. Woodruff leads a large group of scientists, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, undergraduates, visiting scholars and technicians who together make up the Woodruff Lab.  Members of the lab are making important breakthroughs in follicle biology, oocyte quality and translating this work to patients.


Sex in Three Cities 2014 – Professor John Aitken

John Aitken’s lecture entitled ‘Bonking baby boomers and the future of sex’ was delivered in 2014.

Read a review of John Aitken’s lecture that was published in Reproduction.

About the speaker

John Aitken’s research career began with a PhD in reproductive biology from the University of Cambridge under the supervision of RV Short. Following post-doctoral positions at the Institute of Animal Genetics, University of Edinburgh and the University of Bordeaux, he accepted an invitation to join the World Health Organization in Geneva, where he managed two WHO task forces within the Human Reproduction Unit dealing with different aspects of contraception.  In 1977, he joined the Medical Research Council’s Reproductive Biology Unit, University of Edinburgh, to establish a research group in gamete biology with clinical outreach into male infertility. In 1992, John was awarded an Honorary Professorship within the Faculty of Medicine of Edinburgh University and 1998 he received an ScD degree from the University of Cambridge in recognition of his research contributions to gamete biology.  In the same year he moved to the University of Newcastle, NSW, as Chair of Biological Sciences and, later, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology and Development. He is currently Laureate Professor of Biological Sciences, Pro Vice Chancellor of the Faculty of Health and Medicine and Co-Director of the Priority Research Centre in Reproductive Science. His main areas of interest focus on infertility and fertility regulation, particularly in the male.  He has published over 500 research articles and book chapters which have received over 16,000 citations, the highest in his immediate field. John is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Australian Academy of Science. In 2012 he was named as the New South Wales Scientist-of-the-Year.

Sex in Three Cities 2013 – Professor Lord Robert Winston

SRF was pleased to see a great turn out for the 2013 Lecture Series given by Professor Lord Robert Winston. His lecture was entitled ‘Live Longer – Give up Sex’.

Sex in Three Cities 2012 – Professor Steve Jones

SRF was pleased to see a fantastic turnout for Professor Steve Jones’ (Emeritus Professor of Genetics at University College, London) lecture entitled “Incest and Folk Dancing: Two Things to Avoid” during the 2012 series.

Sex in 3 Cities 2011 – Professor Lou Guillette

Lou Guillette The newly Professor Lou Guillette, (Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Medical University of South Carolina and the CoEE Endowed Chair in Marine Genomics at the Hollings Marine Laboratory, USA), launched the new SRF lecture series ‘Sex in Three Cities’

Lou’s lecture was entitled ‘Penises, Ovaries and Environmental Contaminants’.


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