Interdisciplinary Reproduction and Health Group (IRHG)

Goal: The Interdisciplinary Reproduction and Health Group (IRHG) was organized and established through a faculty driven, grass roots effort in 2016 to develop an integrative interdisciplinary program that transcends traditional departmental, college and system boundaries to foster excellence in reproduction, health research and education at Mizzou. The IRHG promotes communication and collegiality among scientists in the University of Missouri System and fosters the development and growth of research and training programs in Reproduction, Genomics and Health, strengthening our achievements in Food for the Future and One Health/One Medicine. Membership is inclusive and open to all interested faculty, trainees and staff in the Mizzou System. At present, IRHG members include 42 faculty, 32 staff and 56 trainees (graduate students and postdoctoral fellows) from 5 departments in 4 colleges at the University of Missouri-Columbia. The overarching theme of the IRHG is to address broad challenges to reproduction and health of humans and animals by conducting basic, clinical and translational research and training the next generation of scientists. Integrative and multidisciplinary approaches are employed to conduct cutting-edge research in reproduction, genomics and health, optimize opportunities for training in those fields, and facilitate transfer of knowledge from the laboratory to the classroom, clinic (human and veterinary), field (animal agriculture and wildlife management) and community (information, policy and education).

Trajectory, Challenges and Opportunities

This concept to develop the IRHG will significantly expand the capabilities and footprint of the foundational F21C Animal Reproductive Biology cluster. Many of the existing members of the reproduction community at Mizzou are internationally or nationally recognized researchers and have a successful track record of extramural funding from USDA NIFA and NIH. One goal of the IRHG is to integrate researchers focused on animals with those focused on humans. This should allow members to expand their extramural funding opportunities and create opportunities for multidisciplinary research and training grant applications. Another goal is to recruit and retain outstanding faculty members in reproductive biology and reproductive sciences.

Research and Training Mission

Reproduction is an epicenter of life sciences. Focal areas of research and training in the IRHG will be integrative, multidisciplinary, and encompass humans, domestic animals, laboratory animals, aquatic species and wildlife. Particular areas of expertise within Mizzou include: assisted reproductive technologies, cloning, conservation of endangered species, contraception, developmental biology, functions and diseases of the reproductive tract, endocrinology, epigenetics, fertilization, gamete biology, genome engineering, gonadal function, infertility, pregnancy and pregnancy-related disorders, science and health policy, sex-biased health conditions, stem cell biology, systems biology and functional genomics, and toxicology. The IRHG mission-oriented research and education program impacts Missouri, our nation and the world.

IRHG Fertile Minds Newsletter

The IRHG produces a newsletter twice yearly. The pdf version is now available and can be accessed and printed or read online.

Fertile Minds Newsletter PDF