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).

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: Oct 17, 2014
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