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Environmental Factor

Environmental Factor

Your Online Source for NIEHS News

April 2019

NIEHS scientists honored by reproductive biology society

Sally Darney and Humphrey Yao are among this year's winners of the Society for the Study of Reproduction annual awards.

The Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR) announced March 20 that NIEHS scientists Sally Perreault Darney, Ph.D. and Humphrey Yao, Ph.D., are among the winners of its annual awards.

“The 2019 award winners include some of the world’s most accomplished reproductive biology scientists, physicians, and professionals working to advance science in reproduction, fertility, and development, benefiting humans and animals,” said Saima Hedrick, SSR executive director. The winners will be commended at the organization’s annual conference in July.

Sally Perreault Darney, Ph.D., NIEHS Darney joined SSR as a graduate student 40 years ago and said it has been her “home society” ever since.

Unselfish service and leadership

Darney, editor-in-chief of the NIEHS-sponsored journal Environmental Health Perspectives, received the SSR Jansen Distinguished Service Award for her demonstrated unselfish service and leadership in advancing the discipline of reproductive biology.

Darney joined NIEHS in 2015 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where she gained extensive experience in environmental research and research management, organizational governance, and editorship of scholarly journals such as Biology of Reproduction.

“I gained valuable leadership experience on the SSR Board of Directors and as president, making many life-long friends along the way,” said Darney. “Now I am humbled to be recognized with this award because I always felt I got much more than I gave by serving the society.”

Outstanding published research

Yao, from the Reproductive Developmental Biology Group, received the SSR Research Award, recognizing an active, regular society member for outstanding research published over the last six years. Yao’s research seeks to define how reproductive organs develop normally in embryos and whether this development process is affected by chemicals called endocrine disruptors.

Humphrey Yao, Ph.D., NIEHS Yao said he is grateful for overall support and the award nomination from his laboratory chief, Franco Demayo, Ph.D. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

“I am honored to be the recipient of this award, particularly considering the caliber of past awardees,” he said. “Most importantly, this award belongs to past and current members of my lab, who are heroes behind the scene,” Yao added. “There was nothing more ecstatic than cheering with them when we found a mouse embryo with sex-reversed gonads!”

Yao, who joined NIEHS in 2010, was selected as the 2016 Mentor of the Year by NIEHS trainees. The annual award recognizes a scientist who has significantly contributed to training fellows and students at the institute.

(Carol Kelly is a technical writer and editor for the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison.)

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