NICHD’s Dr. Alan E. Guttmacher Delivers Second Annual Sheldon J. Segal Lecture at Rockefeller University

On May 12th, Dr. Alan E. Guttmacher, director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), delivered a special lecture at Rockefeller University, where the Population Council’s Center for Biomedical Research is located.

“The Human Genome: Opportunities for Contraceptive Research?” hosted by the Population Council, was the second annual event in honor of the late Sheldon J. Segal, an authority on global population, family planning, reproductive and maternal health, and contraception.

Dr. Guttmacher’s lecture explored the role of genomic research in identifying genes that influence fertility; drugs that might target these genes to help induce reversible infertility; and how the Human Genome Project could improve global reproductive health initiatives.

The Sheldon Segal Lecture Series is an annual collaboration between the Population Council and the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) at Woods Hole to honor Dr. Sheldon J. Segal, a vice president and distinguished scientist at the Population Council and former chairman, trustee, and visiting investigator at MBL. Segal directed research that led to the development of contraceptives like the intrauterine device and implants. Currently, 170 million women worldwide are using a highly effective contraceptive developed by the Council or based on our technology.

Segal forged collaborations in the clinical, pharmaceutical, social, and political realms to improve family planning practices and global development policy. He left a legacy of scientists and policymakers working to make education and comprehensive health services available for all people, particularly women and girls in underserved regions.