laboratory glassware
The Michelson Prize & Grants in Reproductive Biology is a $75M program that exists to incentivize research through prize philanthropy and grant funding to rapidly develop a permanent, single-dose, nonsurgical sterilant for male and female cats and dogs.

Michelson Grants Research Findings

The Michelson Prize & Grants provides information on general positive and negative findings from research it funds. Research findings will be added to this page as data are generated at the completion of funded projects. Click on each title below to reveal more information about each project. To learn more about the principal investigators, visit Current Grantee Profiles. Disclaimer: Projects previously funded may or may not represent current funding priorities of the Foundation.


Over-expression of the novel Rfamide gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone: Proof of concept study in rats , George Bentley, PhD - Project completed

Inducing stable infertility by RNA interference , Beverly L. Davidson, PhD - Project completed

Single treatment with AAV9 anti-Müllerian hormone as an ideal permanent contraceptive , Patricia Donahoe, MD and David Pepin, PhD - Project in progress

Targeting piRNA/endo-siRNA pathways for the control of companion animal fertility , Jonathan LaMarre, DVM, PhD - Project completed

Engineering viral vectors to target the cat hypothalamus with sterilizing molecules , Sergio Ojeda, DVM - Project completed

Targeting somatic cells to develop a non-surgical sterilant , Lee Smith, PhD - Project completed

Translation of an androgen-miRNA sterilant: pre-clinical validation & a clinical trial in cats and dogs , Lee Smith, PhD - Project completed


Computationally designed hyperstable anti-GnRH mini-proteins , David Baker, PhD - Project completed

SPRASA: An immunocontraceptive with a difference , Larry Chamley, PhD - Project completed

Development of a vaccine delivery device that will maintain life-long high titers of anti-GnRH antibodies , Douglas E. Jones, MS, VMD, PhD - Project completed

Contraception in companion animals using a recombinant viral vector , Megan Lloyd, PhD - Project completed

Infection-mimicking biomaterials for vaccination against gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) , David Mooney, PhD - Project completed

Developing herpesvirus vectors to induce long-term immunity to reproductive hormones and hormone receptors , Michael Munks, PhD - Project completed

Self-boosting pathogen-like particle multi-antigen vaccine for female immunosterilization , David Putnam, PhD - Project completed

Phage-GnRH constructs and their mimics for immunocontraception of cats and dogs , Tatiana I. Samoylova, PhD - Project completed

Ablation of pituitary gonadotropes by DNA vaccine targeting GnRH receptor: Proof of principle study in mice , Tatiana I. Samoylova, PhD - Project completed

A vectored GnRH contraceptive vaccine to control dog and cat overpopulation , Kent R. Van Kampen, DVM, PhD - Project completed



To Hypothalamic Neurons

Targeted ablation of GnRH neurons: proof of concept study in mice , Meenakshi Alreja, PhD - Project completed

Ablation of hypothalamic GnRH neurons using targeted, cytotoxic exosomes: Proof of concept study in mice , Colin E. Bishop, PhD - Project completed

Kisspeptin: The endocrinological gatekeeper to reproductive function. A realistic target for non-surgical contraceptive in the dog , A.C. Schaefers-Okkens, DVM, PhD - Project completed

Targeted ablation of GnRH neurons for nonsurgical sterilization , R. Scott Struthers, PhD - Project completed

To Gonadotropes of the Anterior Pituitary

Increasing the circulating half-life of GnRH-RIP conjugates to improve in vivo efficacy , Benjamin Renquist, PhD - Project completed

Enhancing the toxicity of GnRH- and bivalent-targeted RIP conjugates to induce sterility , Benjamin Renquist, PhD - Project completed

Novel toxin conjugates for nonsurgical sterilization via gonadotroph ablation , R. Scott Struthers, PhD - Project completed

To the Gonads

Development of a humane non-surgical sterilization method for domestic animals , R. John Aitken, ScD, FRSE - Project completed

Alkylated FSH peptides as mediators of germ cell depletion , R. John Aitken, ScD, FRSE - Project completed

Targeting selenoprotein P for male contraception in mammals , Paul R. Copeland, PhD - Project completed

Development of targeted nanoparticles as non-surgical sterilizing agents: proof of concept study in mice , George L. Gerton, PhD - Project completed

Primary oocyte ablation by peptide-toxin conjugates and adeno-associated virus transductional and transcriptional targeting , John C. Herr, PhD - Project completed

FSH receptor ligand-cytotoxin conjugates for permanent chemosterilization , William W. Ja, PhD - Project completed

Targeting poly(ADP-ribose) metabolism for development of a nonsurgical sterilant , Ralph G. Meyer, PhD - Project completed

Targeting the luteinizing hormone receptor to induce infertility , Prema Narayan, PhD - Project completed


Prepubertal administration of GnRH agonists in domestic cats , Cristina Gobello, MV, DVM, DECAR - Project completed

Prepubertal administration of a long term release GnRH agonist in domestic dogs: A Pilot Study , Cristina Gobello, MV, DVM, DECAR - Project completed

Electrospun delivery to enhance the effectiveness of anti-fertility strategies , John Lannutti, PhD - Project completed