PULLMAN, Wash. — Michael D. Griswold, professor of biochemistry and biophysics at Washington State University, was installed as the 32nd president of the Society for the Study of Reproduction at its annual meeting in August. This international organization provides a forum for its over 2000 members to collaborate on current reproductive research.
Griswold has been a member of the WSU faculty since 1976. In 1992, he received the WSU College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Achievement Award and was chosen to deliver the 60th Washington State University Distinguished Faculty Address. Griswold was also awarded the Edward Meyer Professor in the College of Sciences, 1995-1998.
For the past several years, Griswold and his associates have been researching the mechanisms by which hormones can alter gene expression and how these hormones subsequently affect the differentiation of target cells. A particular type of cell, the Sertoli cell, was chosen by Griswold as a vehicle for his research.
The Sertoli cell is one of the largest and most complex in the body. Sertoli cells line the seminiferous tubules, the region where sperm is produced in mammals. Their unique structure and secretions are vital to the production of sperm. Griswold’s team is concentrating on identifying these secretions and in what ways and by what mechanisms they affect the evolution of an undifferentiated germ cell into the highly specialized sperm cell.
Griswold and his team are currently centering their attention on three major projects: the characterization of the FSH receptor gene promoter, the study of testicular induced synchronicity and the function of the clusterin protein.
The ideas, expertise and results of Griswold and his research team have attracted the attention and respect of the world research community as well as important funding support from such institutions as the National Institute of Health. Griswold’s research is already finding practical application in such diverse fields as human health and wildlife restoration.
The next annual meeting of the SSR will be held during the summer of 1999 in Pullman on the WSU campus and will be sponsored by the WSU/UI Center for Reproductive Biology. Over 1,000 scientists, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students are expected to attend.