IRHRM Leadership

Mike Soares

Michael J. Soares, PhD
Institute Director
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Professor Michael J. Soares serves as Director of the Institute for Reproductive Health and Regenerative Medicine (IRHRM). Professor Soares received his undergraduate training at California State University, Chico where he received a B.A. degree in Psychology in 1976. In 1981, Professor Soares completed his Ph.D. degree in Reproductive Biology at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu. From 1981 to 1983, he received postdoctoral training in molecular endocrinology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Additional postdoctoral training in cell and developmental biology was obtained at Baylor College of Medicine. A National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) supported Professor Soares' postdoctoral training. In 1984, Professor Soares was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He progressed through the academic ranks and in 1993 was promoted to the position of Professor of Physiology. In 2002, Professor Soares was appointed Director of the Institute of Maternal-Fetal Biology. In 2004, Professor Soares moved to the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. In 2010, Professor Soares was appointed Director of the Institute for Reproductive Health and Regenerative Medicine.

Professor Soares is internationally recognized for his novel and innovative scientific achievements in the field of developmental and regenerative biology. His laboratory is actively investigating mechanisms underlying the control of cell differentiation during hemochorial placentation.

For the past 25 years, Professor Soares' research has been continuously supported by the NIH and has resulted in the publication of 187 peer-reviewed reports, eighteen chapters in books, and three books. Professor Soares has served as a member of editorial boards and NIH advisory panels. He has been recognized for his research on trophoblast cell development by the University of Kansas School of Medicine with a Faculty Research Award in 1989, by the University of Tokyo with a Distinguished Visiting Scientist Award in 1994, by the European Placental Group with the Adriana and Luisa Castellucci Award Lecture in 1995, with a lecture at the Presidential Symposium during the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Reproduction in 1997, the University of Kansas Chancellor's Club Research Award in 2001 and Higuchi Research Achievement Award in 2004. Professor Soares was appointed as a University Distinguished Professor of the University of Kansas in 2007.

Professor Soares has also directly supervised the training of thirty-one postdoctoral fellows and ten graduate students, served as Director of an NIH-sponsored training program in Reproductive Biology (1996-2000), and as Program Director of an NIH supported BIRCWH K12 Faculty Development Program in women’s health research (2005-2010).

Carl Weiner

Carl P. Weiner, MD, MBA
Associate Director
Director, Center for the Developmental Origins of Health and Adult Diseases
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Dr. Carl Philip Weiner is the K.E. Krantz Professor and Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Professor of Integrative and Molecular Physiology, University of Kansas School of Medicine, and Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Kansas School of Pharmacy. He is the Associate Director of the Institute for Reproductive Health and Regenerative Medicine, and leads the Center for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease. Dr. Weiner has spent his career in academic medicine and is dedicated to teaching, research, and clinical service. His prior administrative responsibilities included Chair, Division Director, Fellowship Director, and Residency Director. His team received one of nine U.S. Public Health Service designations as a National Center of Excellence for Women’s Health Care. He created several successful Centers for Advanced Fetal Care, most recently in Kansas City, Kans., which he directs.

Born in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, Dr. Weiner received his B.A. from Lehigh University in 1972, his M.D. from the Medical College of Georgia in 1977, and his Masters in Business Administration from Loyola College in 2002.

On the completion of his clinical training, Dr. Weiner joined the faculty at the University of Iowa College of Medicine where he rose in seven years to the rank of Professor with tenure. In 1984, he began one of the first multi-disciplinary fetal diagnosis and treatment units in the country. He left the University of Iowa in 1996 for the Chair position at Maryland. He left Maryland in 2006 to direct women’s services at KU Medical Center and create an institute for drug development that targets pregnancy.

Dr. Weiner has received awards for both teaching and research. He has over 200 peer-reviewed publications and edits five textbooks, including international best sellers such as "High Risk Pregnancy: Management Options", now in its 4th edition, and "Drugs for Pregnanat and Lactating Women" now in its 2nd edition. He has been continuously funded from extramural sources since 1983, receiving more than 35 awards. He serves as a regular reviewer for two NIH Study Sections, and has been a member of the CIHR Clinical Investigation Grants Committee. Dr. Weiner’s laboratory was the first to demonstrate sex hormone regulation of the nitric oxide enzyme system. Presently, his investigative interests focus on the regulation of uterine quiescence during pregnancy, impact of chronic fetal hypoxia, and the discovery, interpretation, and application of biomarkers for reproductive pathology. His laboratory has multiple firsts in the application of proteomics, genomics and transcriptomics to reproductive science. Dr. Weiner is a strong advocate of the strategic linking of clinical and basic research, and is the founder and President of Perinet Inc., a biomedical development company created to facilitate the development of his laboratory’s findings. His research collaborations are worldwide.

Clinically, Dr. Weiner was one of the early practitioners of fetal medicine, focusing on the application of human fetal physiology to clinical practice. He was one of the first in North America to perform ultrasound directed fetal blood sampling and transfusion. He and his colleagues in the Center for Advanced Fetal Care have contributed to the modern management of fetal alloimmune disease, the role of fetal viral infection in adverse fetal outcome, and the application of fetal Doppler velocimetry in sequential vascular beds to fetal surveillance and diagnosis.

Dr. Weiner’s enthusiasm for the application of physiology to medicine and the importance of translational research is infectious. He has mentored more than a dozen fellows from the U.S. and abroad in either Fetal Medicine or in his laboratory; all have gone on to receive independent extramural funding, and almost all remain in academic medicine. He has made more than 250 invited presentations throughout the world on his research interests.

Stacy McClure

Stacy McClure, BA
Associate Director of Administration
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Stacy McClure received her undergraduate training at Central Missouri State University (now the University of Central Missouri), in Warrensburg, Missouri, where she received a BA degree in Public Relations. In her last semester of undergraduate school, Stacy began part-time employment with Newhouse, a domestic violence shelter serving women and children in the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan area. Stacy moved to a full-time position upon graduating in May 2001, and worked as a development assistant. Her duties included managing volunteers, coordinating the Speaker's Bureau, soliciting and managing in-kind donations, recording, generating reports, planning and implementing special events and fundraisers, and researching and writing grant proposals. In March of 2002, Stacy began work at Faith Friends, a State-funded non-profit mentoring program for people moving from welfare to work. Stacy's duties included writing grant proposals, planning special events, designing/producing brochures, invitations and other marketing materials, and maintaining the website.

In September of 2002, Ms. McClure joined the University of Kansas Medical Center in the capacity of Administrative Assistant for the Institute of Maternal-Fetal Biology, under the direction of Dr. Michael J. Soares. In July 2007, Stacy was promoted to Senior Coordinator after taking on additional responsibilities, including serving as administrator of a BIRCWH K12 Program (PI Patricia A. Thomas, PD Michael J. Soares). In January 2010, Stacy became an Administrative Officer for the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, assuming such duties as HR, Promotion and Tenure, faculty appointments, etc. for the Basic Science faculty in Pathology. In July of 2010, Stacy was appointed Associate Director of Administration for the newly formed Institute for Reproductive Health and Regenerative Medicine.

Ken Peterson

Kenneth R. Peterson, PhD
Director, Center for Epigenetics and Stem Cell Biology
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Professor Kenneth R. Peterson serves as Director of the Center for Epigenetics and Stem Cell Biology. Professor Peterson received his undergraduate training at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff where he received a B.S. degree in Microbiology and Chemistry in 1979. He received a M.S. in Microbiology and Biochemistry in 1981. In 1987, Professor Peterson completed his Ph.D. degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Arizona, Tucson. From 1987 to 1990, he received postdoctoral training in molecular evolution at the University of Arizona, Tucson. Additional postdoctoral training in human genetics and molecular biology was obtained at University of Washington, Seattle. In 1992, Professor Peterson was appointed as a Research Assistant Professor in the Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Medicine at the University of Washington. He was promoted to Research Associate Professor in 1996. In 1998 Dr. Peterson moved to the University of Kansas Medical Center as an Associate Professor and was promoted to the position of Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2003. In 2003, he also was appointed Vice Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Professor Peterson is internationally recognized for his novel and innovative scientific achievements in the field of developmental genetics, gene regulation and epigenetics. His laboratory is actively investigating mechanisms underlying the control of hemoglobin synthesis and blood cell formation.

For the past 14 years, Professor Peterson’s research has been continuously supported by the NIH and has resulted in the publication of over 83 manuscripts. Dr. Peterson has served on NIH Study Sections and as a reviewer for numerous journals. He has been honored with a Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellowship Faculty Scholar Award for research and mentoring in 2001, recognized for his research on globin gene switching by the University of Kansas School of Medicine with a Faculty Investigator Research Award in 2003, and named a Fulbright Scholar in 2009. Professor Peterson has also directly supervised the training of eight postdoctoral fellows and three graduate students.

T. RAJENDRA KUMAR, PhD
Director, Center for Reproductive Sciences
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Dr. T. Rajendra Kumar serves as the Director of the Center for Reproductive Sciences. He received his Masters degree in Biochemistry (Central University of Hyderabad), Master of Philosophy in Reproductive Biology (Central University of Hyderabad), and PhD in Endocrine Biochemistry (University of Delhi) - all from India. He obtained his postdoctoral training in the Vollum Institute of Advanced Biomedical Research at the Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland. Subsequently, he moved to Baylor College of Medicine in Houston where he continued his research on mouse developmental genetics and reproductive axis development. At Baylor College of Medicine, he rose to the rank of an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology and also held a joint faculty appointment in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. Currently, he is a tenured Professor in the Departments of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. He is also a full member of the KU Cancer Center.

Dr. Kumar's current research efforts are focused on gonadotrope development and molecular genetics of gonadotrope tumors, transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of gonadotropin subunit gene expression, gonadotropin secretion, pituitary hormone control of gonad and bone development and physiology. He has received support from NIH for his current research work on pituitary and gonad developmental genetics.

Dr. Kumar published 80 papers including textbook chapters and invited reviews. His research was published in high-impact journals including Nature, Nature Genetics, Cell, PNAS, J Clinical Investigation, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Molecular Endocrinology and Endocrinology. He also co-edited a textbook entitled " Transgenics in Endocrinology". He has been an invited speaker at more than 70 national and international symposia/conferences and various universities/institutes. He also served as a Chair, Co-Chair at several of these national/international symposia. He has been an ad-hoc manuscript reviewer for over 50 national and international scientific journals and served as a Member on Editorial Boards of Biology of Reproduction and Endocrinology. Currently, he is an Associate Editor of Molecular Reproduction and Development, a Senior Editor of Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, a member of the Board of Reviewing Editors of Biology of Reproduction and Editorial Board member of Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology.

 Dr. Kumar served as an Ad-hoc Member on several NIH Study Section and Special Emphasis panels. He has taught medical residents, and participated extensively in several graduate and post-graduate level courses on mouse development, genetics, epigenetics, stem cells, and as an Instructor at the Frontiers in Reproduction course in Woods Hole, MA. He is a Director of the Reproductive Physiology Advanced Course at the KU Medical Center. He has trained several graduate students, technicians, and postdoctoral fellows and serves as a member on many graduate student thesis committees. Dr. Kumar received the Kansas-IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE) Faculty Scholar Award, KU Medical Center Faculty Investigator Research Award and Thomas L. Noffsinger Investigator Award.

Last modified: Apr 23, 2014
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