The International Congress of Animal Reproduction (ICAR) has announced that Professor Katrin Hinrichs, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACT, of Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, is the recipient of the 2016 Simmet Prize for Assisted Reproduction.
The prize, which is the most prestigious award in animal reproduction and one of the largest of its kind, was awarded based on the pioneering efforts of Dr. Hinrichs to elucidate the fundamental biology of gametes and embryos in the horse and to develop laboratory techniques that have made assisted reproduction technologies in the horse a practical reality.
The clinical program in equine assisted reproduction she founded in 2009 in collaboration with the Section of Theriogenology at Texas A&M is now one of the largest in the world and has performed over 450 embryo production procedures in 2015 alone.
Dr. Hinrichs holds the Patsy Link Chair in Mare Reproductive Studies and has joint appointments in the Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology and the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M. She and her colleagues have been instrumental in the development of assisted reproductive techniques in the horse.
Areas in which Dr. Hinrichs and colleagues have made instrumental advances include in vitro maturation of eggs, fertilization by intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection, embryo culture, cloning, cryopreservation of embryos and the use of embryonic biopsy to enable pre-implantation genetic screening.
The Simmet Prize is sponsored by Minitube International and administered by ICAR. The prize, established as a memorial to the accomplishments of Dr. Ludwig Simmet, a pioneer in development of artificial insemination in farm animals and founder of Minitube, recognizes an active research scientist for basic and applied research published during the previous six years in the area of assisted reproduction of animals.
The prize is presented each four years and includes an award of 50,000 euros to the winner.
According to the Texas A&M website, Dr. Hinrichs is a graduate of the University of California at Davis. She completed a residency and her PhD at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center, where she began her long-running research into mare reproductive technology, including embryo transfer.
After ten years in teaching and research at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, where she researched oocyte maturation and fertilization in the horse, Dr. Hinrichs moved to Texas A&M, where she has a joint appointment in Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology and Large Animal Clinical Sciences. She was named the Patsy Link Chair in Mare Reproductive Studies at A&M in 2005.
Among Dr. Hinrichs' many accomplishments at A&M has been that her group achieved the cloning of the first horse in North America, which was only the third horse cloned in the world. Her group has led in the development of in vitro fertilization for horses, via intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI
Mare and foal photo by Meneer Zjeroen.
Part of this article was provided by ICAR.