Trainee Travel Award

The Society for Study of Reproduction Trainee Travel Awards (SSR-TTA) were established to support the participation of Trainee members at the annual meetings.

SSR will contribute up to $500 to support each of 20 Trainee members enrolled in the Continental North America (the United States and Canada) and up to $1000 to support each of 5 international (non-North American) enrolled Trainee members as a contribution towards the costs of conference registration, travel, and accommodation. Applicants will be judged on abstract quality and volunteer service to the scientific community.

Abstract Submission  
Please see application + eligibility below for submission information. 

Application + Eligibility  

Eligible candidates will:

  1. Be an SSR trainee member prior to submission.
  2. Be the first author of a submitted abstract and present at the SSR Annual Meeting.
  3. Not have received the SSR-Trainee Travel Award within the past two years. 
  4. If selected for this award, your name will be added to the Trainee Volunteer email list, and you will be required to complete at least one volunteer shift at the SSR Annual Meeting. Failure to do so may affect your funding status and any future applications to the SSR-TTA.

To apply for this award: Application will be part of the online abstract submission process, the deadline to submit is March 7, 2023 (11:59 PM EST). Applicants must apply during the regular abstract submission process. 

As part of the online abstract submission, applicants will be asked to answer the following 5 questions: In the last 5 years, please specify if you have done the following: [Yes/No]

  1. Participated in volunteer activities (unpaid) that are related to your scientific career goals?
  2. Volunteered time in the planning or execution of a national meeting/conference such as SSR?
  3. Participated in volunteer activities at your institution and/or a scientific society?
  4. Volunteered within the greater scientific community such as outreach activities to the general public?
  5. Participated in other activities not previously mentioned that could be considered volunteer service?

As part of the online abstract submission, applicants will be asked to submit a short narrative (may be a bullet-pointed list) describing service to the scientific community in the past 5 years (max 150 words). Examples could include volunteer activities demonstrating: 1) a leadership role, 2) commitment to scientific career (this could encompass volunteering at SSR or another conference), and/or 3) service to the community (this could encompass volunteering at local high schools or a museum). Please include dates of volunteer activity.


  • 2018, SSR, New Orleans, Slide Room Volunteer 
    • Worked two shifts assisting presenters in the uploading of their slides to our system
  • 2017, Washington D.C., travel award coordinator 
    • Collaborated with a team of volunteers to award over 200 travel awards to deserving trainees
    • Organized awards for easy pickup for trainees at conference
    • Worked 6 hours during a conference at travel award kiosk handing out awards to trainees

Review Process:

  1. Trainee applicants are scored on the following factors: 
    • Scientific merit of the abstract (60%).
    • Statement of service (40%). The trainee should include information on volunteer/service activities, such as serving on committees for your institution and/or scientific society, volunteering at a conference, volunteer leadership roles, organizing a local conference, or outreach activities to the community. Volunteer service in some capacity is a requirement to receive this award.
  2. The committee will forward the top awarded candidates to the SSR Business Office to confirm Trainee status and SSR membership status.
  3. The SSR Trainee Representatives will notify the award winners via email by late April.   

Trainee Travel Award Recipients 

2023 Winners

Continental US

Mackenzie Roberts, Oregon Health and Science University, USA, A sticky situation: Inhibition of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) thickens endocervical mucus in vitro.

Danielle Sosnicki, Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, USA, Developmental potential of sperm from teratospermic cats tends to be better after co-incubation with epididymal extracellular vesicles derived from normospermic cats.

Alison Neff, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate and mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate alter the expression of oocyte-derived factors in mouse ovarian tissue.

Mathieu Schulz, Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, Canada, DNA methylation restricts coordinated germline and neural fates in embryonic stem cell differentiation.

Arslan Tariq, University of Florida, USA, Effect of inflammation during oocyte maturation on bovine preimplantation embryo blastomere number and apoptosis.

Marija Kuna, University of Kansas Medical Center, USA, Establishment of trophoblast cell lineage chromatin landscapes within the developing hemochorial placenta: a role for CITED2.

Mikaela Simon, University of Kansas Medical Center, USA, Follistatin like 3 regulated events in trophoblast cell lineage development and placentation.

Anna Clapp Organski, Purdue University, USA, Gut Microbiota-Driven Alterations in the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal Axis.

Emily Zaniker, Northwestern University, USA, Harnessing Functional and Molecular Asymmetry During Ex Vivo Ovulation for Non-Hormonal Contraceptive Discovery.

Mary Ali Oliver, Virginia Tech, USA, Human Recombinant Interleukin-6 has Cryoprotective Properties in Blastocyst-Stage Cow Embryos.

Marangaby Mahamat, University of Guelph, Canada, Investigating the effects of environmental stress on transposable element expression during early mammalian spermatogenesis.

Jacqueline Budrewicz, Oregon Health & Science University, USA, Investigating the formation and rupture of micronuclei and the consequence of cytosolic DNA release in early mammalian embryogenesis

Adira Safar, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, Long-Term Oral Exposure to Diisononyl Phthalate May Accelerate Ovarian Aging Through Increased Fibrosis and Expression of Telomeric Repeat Binding Factors.

Farners Amargant I Riera, Northwestern University, USA, Low-dose systemic treatment of mice with the anti-fibrotic drug Pirfenidone improves select reproductive outcomes.

Adriana Alexander, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, USA, New insights into sex determination of primordial germ cells with single-nucleus multiomics.

Gaurika Shah, Arizona State University, USA, New Techniques for Ovary Histology: Follicle identification and Quantification using Shared Digital Images.

Caroline Kratka, Northwestern University, USA, Pharmacologic inhibition of proprotein convertases prevents cumulus expansion due to extracellular matrix instability.

Hana Kubo, Northwestern University, USA, Pharmacological inhibition of DKK1 in human induced pluripotent stem cells generates FOXL2-expressing granulosa-like cells.

Eric Rhon-Calderon, University of Pennsylvania, USA, Trophectoderm biopsy of blastocysts following in vitro fertilization and embryo culture increases epigenetic dysregulation in a mouse model.

Magdalina Cummings, North Carolina State University, USA, Uterine ablation of Ten-eleven translocation 2 (TET2) impairs endometrial decidualization and placentation.


Ichikawa Rei, Nagoya University, Japan, Correlation between miRNA expression in intrauterine exosomes and fertility in cows.

Darren Chow, The University of Adelaide, Australia, Generating holograms of embryos: A non-invasive approach for assessing developmental potential.

Mohammed Abouelezz, University of Missouri, Japan, Hyaluronan is a bridging ligand for sperm-induced inflammation in bovine endometrial epithelial cells via CD44/TLR2 interaction.

Celine Camon, University of Otago, New Zealand, Neuronal Estrogen Signalling in Metabolic Health and Ageing.

Cheow Yuen Tan, University of Adelaide, Australia, Optical imaging detects metabolic signatures associated with oocyte quality.

2021 Winners

Continental US

Kohei Umezu, Baylor College of Medicine, USA, Sperm Tracking Toward The Oocyte: In Vitro And In Vivo

 Yi Luan, University of Nebraska Medical Center, USA, The Underlying Mechanism Of Cyclophosphamide-Induced Oocyte Depletion In The Ovary

Megan Sheridan, University of Missouri, USA, Human Trophoblast Exhibit Divergent Susceptibilities to Dengue and Zika Virus Infections,

Andressa Varella Gonsioroski, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA , Effects Of Prenatal And Lactational Exposure To Iodoacetic Acid On The F1 Generation Of Mice,

Alison Ermisch, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA , Ovarian Inflammation Increases Oocyte Maternal mRNAs During Maturation and Alters Expression of Cumulus Regulatory Genes Resulting in Reduced Developmental Competence

Harriet Fitzgerald, University of Missouri, USA, Investigating the Secretory Phase Changes and Decidual Hormone Response of Human Endometrial Epithelial Organoids

Adélaïde Allais, Université de Montréal, Canada, The Consequences Of Prolonged M-Phases In Mammalian Oocytes And Embryos

Rachel West, Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine, USA, Loss of ERVW-1 leads to increased ERVFRD-1 and Interferon Receptor expression in human trophoblast stem cells

Philippe Godin, Université de Montréal, Canada, The Granulosa Cell Response To Luteinizing Hormone Is Partly Mediated By YAP1-Dependent Induction Of Amphiregulin

Alina Murphy, Northwestern University, USA, Understanding the Influence of Obesity on the Endometrium Using Human Primary Endometrial Organoids

Esteban Dominguez, University of Kansas Medical Center, USA, Involvement of transcription factor AP-2 gamma in trophoblast cell development and placentation

Gregory  Burns, Michigan State University, USA, Macrophages Enhance Ectopic Stromal Cell Invasion in a Novel Organoid Model of Endometriosis,

Fatimah Aljubra, University of Kansas Medical Center, USA, Endometrial Cyclin A2 Deficiency Is Associated With Female Infertility And Recapitulated In A Conditional Uterine Ccna2 Knockout Mouse Model,

Leah Simon, Cornell University, USA, Evaluation Of Meiotic Reversibility In Spermatogenesis As A Novel Target for Male Contraception,

Ayelen Moreno, University of Kansas Medical Center, USA, Species Specificity of PEG3 and TAF7L Involvement in Invasive Trophoblast Cell Development and Hemochorial Placentation

Rebecca Holton, Drexel University, USA, CHTF18 Mediates Meiotic Cohesion In Females

Yu-Ying Chen, Northwestern University, USA, Regulatory Roles Of Zinc Fluxes In Early Murine Ovarian Follicle Development

Yuliya Klymenko, Indiana University School of Medicine, USA, Three-Dimensional Biofabrication of Self-Supporting Perfused Tissues of Endometriosis and Endometriosis-Associated Ovarian Cancers

Regan Scott, University of Kansas Medical Center, USA, CDKN1C Contributes To The Regulation Of Invasive Trophoblast Cells And Hemochorial Placentation

Suzanna Kafer, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, USA Ovarian Gene Expression, Oocyte and Embryo Quality in Mice Expressing Re-Routed FSH


Justine Fischoeder, RWTH Aachen University, Germany, Spontaneous Calcium Signaling in Mouse Testis is Modulated by Age, Cell Type, and Endocrinal State

Edyta Walewska, Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of PAS, Poland Impaired Decidualisation In Obese Mice Is Associated With Epigenetically Mediated Changes In Leptin Signaling

Melody Devos, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium, Impact Of Chemotherapy Prior To Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation On Primordial Follicles In Pre-Pubertal And Young Adult Patients

Lina Kenzler, RWTH Aachen University, Germany, Characterization of Spermatogonia and Sertoli Cells from Juvenile Mice using Single-Channel Electrophysiology

2020 Recipients 

Continental US
Claire Stenhouse, Texas A&M University, USA

Phosphate Regulation Pathways are Present in the Ovine Conceptus, Endometrium and Placentome. 

Sushil Khanal, The University of Toledo, USA
The Atypical Centriole of Spermatozoa: A Molecular Basis for Basal Sliding and Asymmetric Flagellar Beating. 

Laurie Pinel, University of Quebec, Canada
Basal Cells Expressing LGR5 Are Multipotent Adult Stem Cells.

Ana Cristina Lima, Oregon Health & Science University, United States
Spatial Dynamics Of Protein Translation In Sertoli Cells. 

Yuliana C. Tan, The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, USA
A Role for the Transcription Factor SP6 Within the Primitive Syncytium at the Peri-Implanation Stage of Human Embryo Development.

Mariyan J. Jeyarajah, Western University, Canada
ASCL2 is Essential for Differentiation and Function of Extravillous Trophoblast Cells during Human Placental Development. 

Helena D. Zomer, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, USA
Loss Of TDP-43 In Sertoli Cells Leads To Failure Of Spermatogenesis In Mice. 

Farners Amargant, Northwestern University, USA
Age-dependent Dysregulation of Hyaluronan and Collagen Matrices Alters Ovarian Biomechanical Properties. 

Meshach Asare-Werehene, University of Ottawa, Canada
Plasma Gelsolin: A Mediator Of Ovarian Cancer Chemoresistance And An Inhibitor Of CD8+ T-Cell Function.

Ryan M.Marquardt, Michigan State University, United States
Endometrial Epithelial ARID1A Loss Causes Defects of Uterine Receptivity and Endometrial Gland Function.

Vinay Shukla, University of Kansas Medical Center, USA
NOTUM-Dependent Modulation Of WNT Signaling In Extravillous Trophoblast Cell Lineage Development. 

Yanan Shan, York University, Canada
miR-218-5p Promotes Endovascular Trophoblasts Differentiation In Part Via The Activation Of The NF-Kb Pathway. 

Jessica Kincade, University of Missouri, USA
Central Spindle Formation Protects Against Incorrect Kinetochore-Microtubule Attachment And Aneuploidy In Mouse Oocytes.

Allison K. Tscherner, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Canada
Cumulus-Oocyte Interaction Is Required To Maintain Active Suppression Of Glycine Transport In The Preovulatory Mouse Oocyte.

Kaitlyn A. Webster, Harvard School of Public Health, USA
Dynamic Regulation of Apoptosis in Male Sexual Development and Cancer Therapy-Induced Infertility. 

Gauthier Schang, McGill University, Canada
GATA2 May Regulate FSH Production In Male Mice Via The BMP Antagonist Gremlin 1.

Qianrong Qi, University of California Irvine, USA
Decreased Endogenous CBS-H2S in the Secretory Phase Contributes to Decidualization in Human Endometrial Stromal Cells. 

Marie-Charlotte Meinsohn, Massachusetts General Hospital, USA
Single-Cell RNA Sequencing Of Neonatal Ovaries Reveals Distinct Inhibitory Gene Signatures Of Mullerian Inhibiting Substance (MIS/AMH) In Ovarian Cell Types: A Novel Insight Into The Mechanisms Of Regulation Of The Ovarian Reserve. 

Megan A. Gura, Brown University, USA
Uncovering A TAF4b-Dependent Gene Expression Program Required For Embryonic Oocyte Differentiation.

Marija Kuna, University of Kansas Medical Center, USA
Adrenomedullin Is A Critical Regulator Of Placental And Fetal Development.


Ali Aflatounian, University of New South Wales, Australia
Metabolic Features of Hepatic Steatosis and Insulin Resistance are Alleviated by Nicotinamide Mononucleotide Treatment in a DHT-Induced PCOS Mouse Model. 

Amy Winship, Monash University, Australia
The PARP Inhibitor, Olaparib, Blocks Intrinsic DNA Repair In Oocytes And Depletes The Ovarian Reserve In Mice: Implications For Fertility. 

Martin Kuete, Anhui Biochem United Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Cameroon
Contraceptive use and preference of HIV infected pregnant women living with HIV negative partners in the central region of Cameroon: a cross sectional survey. 

Meaghan J. Griffiths, Monash University, Australia
Does Maternal High Fat Diet Alter the Ovarian Reserve in Female Mouse Offspring? 

Deirdre Scully, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Cystic Ovary Disease Impacts Gamete/Embryo Transport and Its Cholinergic Regulation.