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Reproductive Endocrinology Fellowship Training Program

Program Director: Irene Su, M.D., M.S.C.E.

About the Fellowship

The Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) strives to lead the field in REI clinical care, research and education. Our fellowship training program is designed to qualify individuals for the subspecialty board in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. The goal of this program is to provide fellows with a balance of training between clinical and research activities and to prepare them for an academic career for leadership in reproductive endocrinology.

Our three primary missions:

  1. Clinical Care: Use a multi-disciplinary model to continuously improve clinical care and provide REI care primarily to affected women in the UCSD regional network; and secondarily, provide consultation for women outside the UCSD regional network.
  2. Research: With extramural funding, grow our diverse portfolio across a spectrum of basic, translational, clinical and epidemiologic research. The foci of research span neuroendocrinology of reproduction, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), oncofertility, ovarian biology and gamete and embryo development.
  3. Education: Prepare academic leaders for a career in REI with a solid foundation for leadership.

Faculty

The clinical and research activities of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility offer diverse training programs, faculty institutions, physician scientists and academic clinicians. This provides exposure to different practice approaches, patient populations and experiences of the course of fellows training. The faculty preceptors and their depth of REI research expertise are listed below:

Clinical

  • Sanjay Agarwal, M.D. – Professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Infertility, endometriosis and clinical trials.
  • R. Jeffrey Chang, M.D. – Professor Emeritus, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Ovarian physiology, PCOS and clinical endocrinology.
  • Antoni Duleba, M.D. – Director, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility; Professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. PCOS, endometriosis and translational.
  • Tracy Harrison, M.D., M.Sc. – Assistant Professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. PCOS and clinical endocrinology.
  • T. Mike Hsieh, M.D. - Associate Professor, Urology; Director, Men's Health Center, UCSD. Male factor infertility.
  • H. Irene Su, M.D., MSCE – Fellowship Program Director, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility; Professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences; . Oncofertility, reproductive survivorship, epidemiology, dissemination and implementation (D&I) and trials.

 

Clinical Affiliates & Faculty

Reproductive Partners Fertility Center – San Diego

Kaiser Permanente – San Diego, Divisions of REI and Medical Endocrinology

Rady Children's Hospital – Division of Pediatric Endocrinology

  • Michael Gottschalk, M.D., Ph.D. - Professor, UC San Diego; Division Director of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, Rady's Children Hospital-San Diego
  • And colleagues

 

Research

  • Kellie Breen Church, Ph.D. - Associate Professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Stress and reproduction.
  • Heidi Cook-Andersen, M.D., Ph.D. - Assistant Professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Oocyte and early embryo development, RNA and single cell sequencing.
  • Sasha Kauffman, Ph.D. - Associate Professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Neuroendocrinology, neuroanatomy of reproduction and kisspeptin.
  • Mark Lawson, Ph.D. - Professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Director, UCOP Postdoctoral Fellowship Program; Faculty Director, Postdoctoral Training and Education. Neuroendocrinology of reproduction.
  • Pamela Mellon, Ph.D. - Vice-Chair for Research; Professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and Neurosciences; Director, NICHD Center for Reproductive Science and Medicine and the NIH Training Program. Regulation and development of the reproductive neuroendocrine system.
  • Shunichi Shimasaki, Ph.D. - Professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Ovarian biology, granulosa-theca cell function and growth factors.
  • Varykina Thackray, Ph.D. - Associate Professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. PCOS genetic influences and microbiome.
  • Miles Wilkinson, Ph.D. - Professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Transcriptional pathways of stem cell and germ cell development.

Structure & Rotations

Structure and rotations are reflected in the block diagram.

View our AY 2021-2022 block diagram

 

Fellows are encouraged to attend the Department Grand Rounds scheduled on Wednesday afternoons as well as seminars and conferences provided by other departments and institutions (i.e. Department of Medicine, Neuroscience, Biology, Salk Institute). Also, fellows participate in night call rotation in obstetrics and gynecology.

Clinical Experience

Our aim is to use a multi-disciplinary model to continuously improve clinical care and provide REI care primarily to affected women in the UCSD regional network; and secondarily, provide consultation for women outside the UCSD regional network.

Fellows actively participate in the evaluation, management, and follow-up of patients with special emphasis toward the comprehensive understanding of reproductive endocrinology disorders and infertility processes. Acquisition of knowledge and techniques in assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and surgery are integrated segments of our training program. Clinical activities are concentrated over 18 months (Year 1 and first half of Year 3) and research is focused over the remaining 18 months. Diverse reproductive disorders are managed by the faculty with increasing responsibility by the fellows.

Reproductive (UCSD, RPSD) Medical (Kaiser) and Pediatric Endocrinology (Radys Children's Hospital): Fellows will participate in the evaluation and management of patients with reproductive disorders under the supervision of the full-time clinical faculty within the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Fellows run the Ovulation Induction Clinic, which allows them to follow through the evaluation, treatment and final outcome of their patients.


Surgery

Under the supervision of clinical faculty at UCSD and RPSD fellows gain experience in a variety of surgical procedures and related patient care activities. They will be involved in the surgical management of patients which are seen during the course of the year with full-time clinical faculty as well as those seen in their own clinic. During a six-month interval fellows will also attend and participate in the surgical management of patients seen at the Kaiser Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Clinics.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) & Men's Reproductive Health

Fellows will receive training in ART at the Reproductive Partners-UCSD Fertility Center. They will be supervised by clinical faculty in learning the principles of gamete physiology and acquiring the proficiency in IVF/ICSI and relevant laboratory procedures. ART training over 6 months in the third year, but exposure to clinics and retrievals begin in the first year.

During the ART rotation fellows will receive training in andrology. The fellow will attend a male infertility clinic once a week for 3 months during this rotation under the supervision of UCSD faculty reproductive urologist.

Education

Our aim is to prepare academic leaders for a career in REI with a solid foundation for leadership.

Participating Sites

Specific educational activities are organized by participating sites:

UC San Diego

  • Weekly didactic sessions with the entire clinical faculty (Drs. Agarwal, Chang, Duleba, Harrison and Su). Sessions are 1.5 hour long and consist of interactive seminars on subjects relevant to reproductive endocrinology and infertility, case reviews and sessions on statistics and epidemiology.
  • Monthly journal club with the entire clinical faculty. Sessions are 1.5 hour long and consist of critical review of selected manuscripts: a faculty member presents one manuscript and another by a fellow.
  • Bimonthly Department Grand Rounds with faculty, residents, fellows and invited speakers. Sessions are 1 hour long. Fellows are expected to attend and participate in the REI Grand Round lecture which occurs once annually.
  • Department Morbidity and Mortality (M&M) conferences with faculty, residents and fellows. Sessions are 1 hour long and recur the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Wednesday afternoon. Fellows should be present at REI M&M when they have a complication occur (with the exception of those on call, vacation, or other excused absences). For all other conferences, fellows are encouraged to attend which can be helpful in preparing for general Ob/Gyn boards.
  • Clinical Research Enhancement through Supplemental Training (CREST) Program is a master's level comprehensive program that covers epidemiology, patient-oriented research, biostatistics, heath service research, data management and information, scientific communication skills and professional development electives. These credits can be applied to a Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) degree in Clinical Research.

Reproductive Partners, San Diego (RPSD)

Each fellow spends six months of the training at the RPSD facilities. This includes outpatient clinical evaluations of new patients, monitoring of ovulation induction and superovulation cycles, intrauterine inseminations, IVF, and surgery supervised by the REI faculty.

RPSD provides full range of clinical services pertinent to Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility with particular emphasis on assisted reproductive technology (ART), especially IVF and surgical procedures relevant to REI. Fellows work under the supervision of Dr. Antoni Duleba, who is the Director of REI at RPSD as well as Drs. Irene Su, Sanjay Agarwal and Tracy Harrison who are full-time UCSD faculty and RPSD faculty Drs. G.Vincent Garzo, Li-Shei Lin, and Jamie Stanhiser.

Under the supervision of the USCD faculty, fellows perform surgical procedures including office diagnostic hysteroscopies and operative hysteroscopies, including mullerian anomalies. A major component of this rotation is participation in IVF. In particular, fellows participate in evaluation of infertile patients, interpretation of diagnostic tests, planning patient management and performing relevant procedures such as sonographic evaluations of folliculogenesis, oocyte retrievals and mock embryo transfers under direct supervision of the attending faculty. Major benefits of this rotation include significant and diverse clinical volume, and hands-on experience in IVF-related procedures.

Kaiser

The particular emphasis of this REI rotation is the opportunity to manage patients with less common conditions relevant to REI. The Year 1 fellow spends one half-day, twice a month during first year of the training on Kaiser REI rotation. Training of REI fellows at Reproductive Endocrinology Kaiser Foundation facility provides a valuable educational experience due to high patient volume and exposure to a variety of uncommon reproductive endocrine disorders. This will include outpatient clinical activities and surgery supervised by the REI faculty.

The medical endocrinology rotation will provide educational opportunities to expose and train the Year 1 fellow in relevant aspects of medical endocrine disorders. The Year 1 fellow spends on average 10-13 sessions (from October to March). A particular emphasis exists for providing experience with patients with conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, parathyroid disorders and adrenal disorders. Fellows participate in evaluation of these patients, interpretation of diagnostic tests and planning patient management.

Rady Children's Hospital

The RCH rotation will provide educational opportunities in all aspects of pediatric endocrinology training. The Year 1 fellow spends one half-day monthly for nine months and Year 3 fellow spends one half-day weekly for three months at Rady Children's Hospital (RCH) facilities. A particular emphasis exists for providing experience with children with a variety of endocrine disorders such as obesity, diabetes, growth hormone deficiency and thyroid disorders. In addition, RCH has a robust transgender/transsexual patient care program to which fellows are exposed.


Career Development

Career Development is supported through these activities:

  • Mentor meetings,
  • Fellowship director meetings,
  • Pamela Mellon, Director NICHD Center for Reproductive Science and Medicine and the NIH Training Program
  • T32 in Reproductive Science,
  • WRHR (K12) for mentored career development; and,
  • Pipeline of reproductive scientists.

Fellows have the opportunity to participate in undergraduate and/or graduate courses to remedy background deficiencies and to acquire skills important to their career goals. All fellows complete an ethics in biomedical research course. There are opportunities to undertake clinical research and public health coursework through the UCSD ACTRI and the newly established UCSD School of Public Health.

Research

With extramural funding, our aim is to grow our diverse portfolio across a spectrum of basic, translational, clinical and epidemiologic research. The foci of research span neuroendocrinology of reproduction, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), oncofertility, ovarian biology and gamete and embryo development.

Functioning in a coordinated fashion and with direct participation by the fellows, our training program offers diverse research opportunities.

Examples include:

  • Characterization and regulation of hormone gene expression,
  • Interrelationship between GnRH, opioidergic and catecholominergic neurons and their modulation by sex steroids, inhibin, activin and follistatin as well as other growth factors,
  • Cellular and molecular mechanisms in the regulation of follicular growth and differentiation,
  • The role of inflammation and oxidative stress in reproductive disorders,
  • The role of neuropeptides, growth factors, and inhibin related peptides in intragonadal regulation,
  • The use of transgenic mouse models to uncover molecular mechanisms in GnRH and gonadotropin subunit biosynthesis, expression and regulation,
  • Neuroendocrine-metabolic control of the human menstrual cycle and its disorders,
  • Delineation of pathophysiology of chronic anovulation,
  • Ovarian physiology, senescence and menopause; and,
  • Oncofertility, reproductive health in cancer survivorship.

The REI program at UC San Diego has a long history of extramural research that provides abundant mentorship opportunities. During the first year, each fellow receives guidance to identify his/her primary research project and primary faculty mentor. Under the supervision of the primary mentor, during the second half of the first year, each fellow studies relevant literature and is guided in planning the actual research project. This involves design of the proposed studies and experiments, identification of all required resources and completion of relevant IRB or IACUC approvals. The entire second year of the fellowship and six months of the third year are devoted to research whereby the fellow carries out their project(s) under the mentorship of their primary mentor.

Meetings with faculty members occur on average at least once a week. During these meetings, fellows present their progress, discuss findings and receive guidance towards further work. Fellows also participate in weekly teaching sessions and monthly Journal Clubs. These teaching venues include extensive reviews and discussions of manuscripts relevant to REI including critical evaluations of methodologies and their limitations. Each fellow submits and presents at least 1-3 abstracts at meetings of major national/international societies e.g. Endocrine Society. Each fellow is expected to publish (as a first author) at least one manuscript in a high-impact journal. Fellows are encouraged to participate in writing research grants. All these activities are mentored and closely monitored. Furthermore, fellows are encouraged and guided towards planning their academic career and are offered mentoring in grant writing and programs such as the Reproductive Scientist Development Program (RSDP) and the Women's Reproductive Health Research (WRHR) Career.

Application Process

Applicants who have completed their training from a US or Canadian accredited Obstetrics and Gynecology residency program are eligible to apply.

How to Apply

Application to the University of California San Diego Medical Center Program, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (2350522005) is through ERAS. For more information on the ERAS application process, visit aamc.org.

In addition to the ERAS application, upload the following documents:

  • Photo
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • United States Licensing Examination (USMLE) or Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Eam (MCCQE)
  • A minimum of two letters of recommendation, up to four will be considered
  • Personal Statement
  • Medical School Transcript
  • Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)

2022 Timeline

In accordance with SREI guidelines, we have coordinated out dates for the following

  • Application Deadline: Monday, May 2, 2022 at 12 p.m. CST
  • Notification Date: Friday, June 3, 2022
  • All Candidate's Status: Friday, June 7, 2022
  • Interview Dates: TBD – No decision has been made about in-person versus remote interviewing. We will continue to monitor SREI, UC San Diego SOM, and all governing guidelines.

The Match

We participate in the National Resident Match Program (NRMP). To register for the fellowship matching process, go to nrmp.org.

Questions?

For further inquiries, contact: Eunice Tingzon.