LOS ANGELES (November 7, 2005) – Dr. Richard J. Paulson, Director of USC Fertility, the private fertility practice of the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, is the recipient of the American Fertility Association’s 2005 Howard and Georgeanna Jones Lifetime Achievement Award.
Paulson is to accept the award in person tonight at the AFA’s annual, star-studded Kokopelli Ball, held this year at the Chelsea Piers’ Pier Sixty in New York City. Desperate Housewives star Brenda Strong is mistress of ceremony for the event, which will also be attended by celebrity guests such as actor Jason Alexander and TV host and author Joan Lunden, who is set to receive the AFA’s 2005 media award. Also on hand to support Paulson will be his USC Fertility partner Dr. John K. Jain; Paulson’s wife, USC Fertility embryologist Lorraine Paulson; and a strong showing of USC Fertility’s staff.
The prize’s namesakes, Dr. Howard Jones and the late Dr. Georgeanna Jones, founded the world-renowned Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School. The married couple created the first IVF program in the United States, and in 1981 achieved the first successful IVF-assisted birth in the country. Their leadership and scientific achievements have touched millions of lives.
“With the passing of Dr. Georgeanna Jones earlier this year, to receive this award is truly a bittersweet moment for me,” said Paulson. “She was an inspiration to all of us in the field of fertility – the Marie Curie of our specialty.”
Paulson graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles with a B.S. in Physics, Magna Cum Laude, received his M.D. degree from the UCLA School of Medicine, and completed his specialty training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He served as a research fellow in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility from 1984 to 1986 at USC, which was one of the early pioneering centers of IVF at that time. It was here that he became fascinated with assisted reproduction, which became his passion as well as his chosen profession.
Paulson has been director of USC Fertility since he first joined the USC faculty in 1986. He was appointed Professor and Chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology there in 1995. The father of five children aged 11 to 22, he lives with his wife in La Canada Flintridge, California.
While at USC, Paulson has published several landmark investigations addressing the topic of fertility in women of advanced age, including the first observation that egg donation could be used to extend the reproductive lifespan in women over 40. His work has extended to fertility in women over the age of 50 and, in 1997, he reported a successful pregnancy in the oldest woman on record at the time, aged 63.
Rated one of “The Best Doctors in America” continuously since 1994, Paulson is considered one of the world’s preeminent authorities on the effect of age upon female fertility and embryo implantation, and in 1999, he co-authored a lay book entitled “Rewinding Your Biological Clock: Motherhood Late in Life.” Last month, at the 61st Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Montreal, Canada, Paulson and Jain unveiled the groundbreaking interim results of USC Fertility’s ongoing study on egg freezing: The researchers reported an unprecedented pregnancy success rate of 63% resulting from the use of frozen eggs. Jain and Paulson plan to publish their complete conclusions at study’s end in early 2006.
“As we look toward the future, we hope to be able to offer every person, regardless of age or physical well-being, his or her full reproductive potential,” said Paulson. “Having a baby is a creative act. For me, making that act possible is both a challenge and a gift.”
USC Fertility is a leader in fertility-related clinical research and is dedicated to developing treatment breakthroughs and providing all potential parents reliable and scientifically tested alternatives for building families today and tomorrow. For more information visit www.USCFertility.org or call (213) 975-9990.