Scientific Advisory Council
An Advisory Council composed of leaders in the field from all over the world reviews, identifies, and recommends the most promising grant applications based on quality of science, impact and alignment with the Consortium’s goals.
More details about the GCRLE Grant Review Process:
We follow strict protocols to ensure transparent, fair, and unbiased outcomes:
- Applications are scored by the independent Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) based on the quality of science, impact and alignment with the Consortium’s goals.
- To reduce implicit gender and institution biases, we implemented an innovative initial blind review step in which SAC members scored each application solely based on scientific merit without any identifying information, followed by a full unblind review.
- Final application scores are then reviewed and discussed by all committee members during an in-person video meeting and top applications unanimously voted for funding.
- Scientific Advisory Committee members are recused from reviewing or participating in discussion of any applications with conflicts of interest, and cannot review grant mechanisms for which they themselves, or their lab members, applied. Buck Institute employees may apply for grants but receive no special consideration in the review process.
GCRLE Scientific Advisory Council members
Marcelle Cedars, MD
Director, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology
Director, Center for Reproductive Science, University of California, San Francisco
Cedars received her medical training at the University of Texas Southwestern School Of Medicine, completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, and did her fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology at UCLA. Her clinical and research interests include ovarian aging, polycystic ovary syndrome and assisted reproduction. She is an NIH-funded researcher and has chaired the FDA panel on Obstetrical and Gynecological Devices and served as President of the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.
Francesca Duncan, PhD
Executive Director, Center for Reproductive Science, Northwestern University
Member, Center for Reproductive Longevity & Equality, Buck Institute
Research in the Duncan laboratory uses mammalian model systems to test the overarching hypothesis that deterioration of gamete-intrinsic cellular pathways together with changes in the ovarian microenvironment contribute to the reproductive age-associated decline in egg quantity and quality. The laboratory’s work is at the interface of reproductive aging and systemic aging; physiologic and iatrogenic reproductive aging; gamete, follicle, and ovarian biology; and reproductive science and medicine. Insights from this research will help design targeted interventions to ameliorate reproductive aging, laying the foundation to simultaneously improve female fertile-span and health-span across generations. Research in her lab is funded by NIH R01 and R21 awards.
Dr. Duncan has >60 manuscripts in the peer-reviewed literature and has been featured in the press. She is the recipient of several honors and awards, including a 2017 Fulbright fellowship and the 2019 Society for the Study of Reproduction Virendra B. Mahesh New Investigator award.
Jennifer Garrison, PhD
Faculty Director, Global Consortium for Female Reproductive Longevity and Equality, Buck Institute for Research on Aging
Assistant Adjunct Professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, University of California, San Francisco
Assistant Adjunct Professor, Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, University of Southern California
Dr. Garrison received her BA in Molecular Cell Biology from UC Berkeley, completed her PhD at UCSF in Chemistry and Chemical Biology where she was a National Science Foundation Fellow and an ARCS Scholar, and was a Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Rockefeller University. She was named an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Neuroscience Research Fellow and an Allen Institute for Brain Science Next Generation Leader and is the recipient of a Pathway to Independence Award and a Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) for Early Stage Investigators from the National Institutes of Health, a Glenn Medical Foundation Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging, and a Junior Faculty Award from the American Federation of Aging Research.
Marcia Haigis, PhD
Dr Haigis' research aims to identify molecular mechanisms by which mitochondria respond to cellular stress and elucidate how these cellular mechanisms contribute to aging and age-related diseases, such as cancer.
Bluma Lesch, MD, PhD
Dr. Lesch's research focuses on the evolution and regulation of chromatin in the germ line, with an emphasis on the role of histone modifications. She discovered that mammalian germ cells maintain an epigenetically poised state at promoters of somatic developmental genes, and that evolution of poising in the mammalian germ line is linked to evolution of somatic developmental gene regulatory networks. She recently reported that chromatin perturbations during male germ cell development result in epigenetically-inherited cancer susceptibility in a mouse model, uncovering a new contribution of paternal epigenetics to disease.
Current research in the Lesch Lab is aimed at defining the functional consequences of evolutionary divergence in chromatin state and identifying new mechanisms for regulation of germline chromatin and epigenetic inheritance.
Coleen Murphy, PhD
Richard B. Fisher Preceptor in Integrative Genomics
Professor, Molecular Biology & the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics
Director of Paul F. Glenn Laboratories for Aging Research, Princeton University
In her own lab, Dr. Murphy’s team has developed C. elegans models of human “quality of life” aging phenotypes, such as cognitive aging and reproductive aging; these processes are remarkably well- conserved at the molecular level, and her group has identified genetic pathways that can extend these processes with age through the development of quantitative assays and genomic approaches to study these aging phenomena.
Mitinori Saitou, MD, PhD
Dr. Saitou's work focuses on the mechanism and reconstitution in vitro of germ cell development in mice, non-human primates including great apes, and humans.
Melina Schuh, PhD
Dr. Schuh studied biochemistry at the University of Bayreuth. After completing her PhD at EMBL, Heidelberg (2008), she became a group leader at the MRC LMB in Cambridge, UK. Melina Schuh has been a Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany since 2016.
Yousin Suh, PhD
Professor of Genetics and Development
Director of Reproductive Aging in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
Discoveries thus far made include novel, rare alleles associated with extreme longevity, sirtuin variants that confer risk for heart disease, functional non-coding variants in the gene desert Chr. 9p21 locus underlying multiple age-related diseases, longevity-associated miRNAs, and epigenetic signatures of cellular senescence.
Dr. Suh's contributions in the field have been recognized by the Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging. She has organized numerous international symposiums on functional genomics of aging, is on the Editorial Boards of numerous Journals including PLoS Genetics and Aging Cell as an Associate Editor, and participates in advisory committee members for several research institutions and companies.
Zhongwei Huang, PhD, MRCOG
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Physiology
National University of Singapore
GCRLE Scientific Advisory Council Emeritus Members
Yap-Seng Chong, MD
Dean, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore
Dr. Chong has well over 300 peer-reviewed research publications covering topics like the genetic epidemiology of pregnancy-related disorders, intrapartum and postpartum management, natural childbirth, strategies to promote breastfeeding, and the developmental origins of health and disease. He has formed multiple academic and industry collaborations with a particular focus in the area of early human development and nutrition, with research grant funding of more than $100 million. For his efforts, Dr. Chong was awarded the National Outstanding Clinician Scientist Award by Singapore’s Ministry of Health in 2017.
Allan C. Spradling, PhD
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Staff Member, Department of Embryology
Carnegie Institution for Science
Dr. Spradling began a long fascination with the Drosophila ovary during a postdoctoral stint at Indiana University, where he discovered that eggshell genes undergo amplification during follicle development. In 1980 he joined the faculty at Carnegie Institution’s Department of Embryology in Baltimore, and two years later he and colleague Gerry Rubin showed how transposable elements can be used to introduce DNA into the Drosophila genome. Remaining at Carnegie, Spradling was appointed an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 1988, and Director in 1994. Spradling’s group developed methods for using transposon insertions to identify and manipulate Drosophila genes, and these efforts were expanded into the Drosophila Gene Disruption Project, whose freely distributed strains have facilitated Drosophila research worldwide.
Dr. Spradling has become increasingly convinced that the powerful genetics available in model organisms such as Drosophila can be used to advance medical research. Over the last 15 years, his group has investigated the basic biology of tissue stem cells, and in 2000 characterized the first stem cell niche. Efforts to understand the parallels between germ cell development in Drosophila and mammals are also continuing to advance.
A member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) since 1989, Dr. Spradling has been awarded many prizes for his work. These include the NAS Molecular Biology Award and the Newcomb Cleveland Prize (both jointly with Gerry Rubin). He has also received the E.J. Conklin Award of the Society for Developmental Biology and the G.W. Beadle Award of the Genetics Society of America. In 2006 Spradling was awarded an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and was the 2008 recipient of the Gruber Prize in Genetics as well as the 2018 March of Dimes and Richard B. Johnson, Jr., MD Award in Developmental Biology.