Thomas E. Spencer
2005 Young Investigator Award
Thomas Spencer, an assistant professor of animal science at Texas A&M University, is recognized as a leader in reproductive biology and endocrinology. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Auburn University and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M. In 1997 he completed postdoctoral studies at Baylor College of Medicine in molecular and cell biology. Spencer developed a unique "uterine gland knockout" model in sheep and initiated a research program derived from it to discover hormonal, cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating postnatal uterine development and function of endometrial glands in the adult uterus. His laboratory also works on the biological role of endogenous retroviruses in placental development. These findings are expected to advance the knowledge of events leading to abnormal uterine function in women, such as endometrial insufficiency and preeclampsia, that contribute to pregnancy loss and intrauterine growth retardation, which are major women's health problems. Spencer is a member of Sigma Xi, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Endocrine Society, Society for Reproduction and Fertility, and the Society for the Study of Reproduction. He serves as an associate editor of Biology of Reproduction and on the editorial board of Reproduction. His honors include a National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health and the Outstanding Young Animal Scientist Award-Research from the American Society of Animal Science. He is also the recipient of the inaugural New Investigator Award from the Society for the Study of Reproduction in 2004.