by Buck Institute
April 19, 2021 . News
Special webinar will launch OVA, a new membership program for those interested in women’s health
Ovaries show signs of aging decades before other tissues. Women’s reproductive organs are considered geriatric in their early 30’s. Menopause sets off a cascade of negative health effects that make women age faster.
The Buck Institute is launching a new membership program focused on women’s health. A special webinar on May 6th will kick off the OVA program, exploring the understudied topic of ovarian aging and reproductive health and how they directly impact a woman's overall health and her lifespan. As a society, every aspect of a woman’s life is influenced by the fact that her reproductive capacity is limited—overall health, family planning, career decisions. Despite its profound impact on women’s health and well-being, female reproductive aging has not received the scientific attention it deserves.
OVA will support the Buck’s groundbreaking research in reproductive and menopausal health. The goal is to improve women’s reproductive span and empower women with more control over their lives. The program is the perfect complement to our Center for Reproductive Longevity and Equality and Global Consortium for Reproductive Longevity and Equality, both established in 2019. The Center is the first facility in the world with the sole focus of exploring the critical relationship between reproductive function and aging. To strengthen and broaden our reach, the Global Consortium is building an intellectual network of scientists in academia and biotech, thought leaders, and ambassadors from all over the world to facilitate and accelerate translating basic scientific discoveries into useful products and therapies to impact women’s lives.
The May 6th seminar will feature Buck faculty member and director of the Global Consortium Dr. Jennifer Garrison. Dr. Garrison will discuss the health implications of reproductive aging and define how women's reproductive longevity and equality affect us all. “On a societal level reproductive inequality negatively impacts women’s health, family planning and career development,” says Dr. Garrison, pointing out that in humans, the ovaries show signs of aging decades before other tissues. “Understanding the limits on female reproductive capacity in mammals will provide important clues about aging overall and will hopefully lead to interventions to slow ovarian aging.”
Buck trustee and Bay Area obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Lizellen La Follette is an early supporter of OVA. Her appreciation of the program is grounded in her practice; she works with women who have difficulty getting pregnant and helps older women navigate the changes that come with menopause. “Understanding human reproduction at the most basic level – namely the egg-- gives us insights into aging within the largest cell in the body. This mostly overlooked area of research is finally getting some traction, in large part thanks to efforts at the Buck,” she said. “Joining OVA is an exciting opportunity to support and guide this research and to become part of a community that cares about women’s health. It’s a revolutionary program.”
The May 6th webinar will be followed by monthly OVA Hour lectures that will be exclusive to OVA members, who will also have unlimited access to an online library of articles and papers. “We are looking to grow a very active member group who can help us define our goals and grow the movement to improve funding for scientific research for reproductive and menopausal health,” said Brian Van Weele, the Buck’s Chief Philanthropic Officer, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about the benefits of becoming an OVA member, including access to webinars, lectures, and events, for an annual fee of only $100.
Science is showing that while chronological aging is inevitable, biological aging is malleable. There's a part of it that you can fight, and we are getting closer and closer to winning that fight.
Eric Verdin, MD, Buck Institute President and CEO