New MPG Research Project Underway at Massachusetts General Hospital

The Michelson Prize & Grants in Reproductive Biology is happy to announce that a new research project has begun this month in the search for a nonsurgical sterilant for cats and dogs.

Patricia Donahoe, MD, and David Pepin, PhD, both of the Simches Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, have teamed up for a three year grant totaling $605,366 titled, “Single treatment with AAV9 Mullerian Inhibiting Substance as an ideal permanent contraceptive.” Dr. Donahoe, the Director of Pediatric Surgical Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, is a pioneer researcher of Mullerian Inhibiting Substance (MIS), a recombinant reproductive hormone. While much of her research in the past has focused on MIS uses as a treatment for ovarian cancer, she will now apply her expertise to the Michelson Prize & Grants mission.

Dr. Pepin, a trained reproductive biologist, joined the Pediatric Surgical Research Laboratories at Massachusetts General Hospital in 2011 as a Research Fellow and an Ann Schreiber Mentored Investigator. More recently, he joined the Harvard Medical School faculty in 2014 as an Instructor in the Department of Surgery. On this project, he will be working with Dr. Donahoe to engineer new peptide modifications of MIS and introduce them into an adeno-associated viral vector.

In response to the new project, Dr. Gary K. Michelson said, “We are delighted that Dr. Donahoe and Dr. Pepin, two leading experts in MIS, are taking their knowledge and applying it to the need for a nonsurgical, permanent sterilant for cats and dogs. This is a brand new approach for the Michelson Grants, and we can’t wait to see how their research progresses.”

The Michelson Prize & Grants in Reproductive Biology, funded through the generous contributions of Dr. Gary K. Michelson and Alya Michelson, has committed over $14 million in international research grants toward a nonsurgical sterilization method for dogs and cats. For more information about all Michelson grantees and their research, visit our Current Grantee Profiles and Research Findings pages.