Distinguished Researcher Award - Fall 2000
The Distinguished Researcher Award recognizes a faculty member's contribution to scholarship through the creation, expansion and critique of knowledge. The University has selected Roger Pierson, Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, as the Fall 2000 recipient of this award.
Professor Pierson earned a Master of Science degree (1982) at Purdue University in Indiana and a Ph.D. (1987) at the University of Wisconsin. In 1988, he moved to Canada to accept a position at the U of S Reproductive Biology Research Unit. Since 1992, he has served as Director of the unit.
Professor Pierson is a world leader in research into ovarian physiology. In 1990, he became the first scientist to use ultrasound to directly visualize human ovulation. He showed that ultrasonography could be a powerful new tool for non-invasive study of the dramatic changes that occur in the structures of the ovary just before and during ovulation. In 1993, his lab developed a unique vaginal probe for making three-dimensional ultrasound pictures of embryos and fetuses. These discoveries have made it possible to assess the ovulation potential of individual follicles in infertile women, thereby potentially paving the way for safer and more effective fertility therapies. His investigation of the growth and development of ovarian follicles has also led to new and more effective means of contraception.
Professor Pierson has become internationally known for developing computer-assisted imaging to analyze the high-resolution ultrasonographic images used to investigate reproductive problems. The 24 computer software programs that he has developed and copyrighted have proven useful not only to assess ovarian function but to assess the potential for cancer to develop in the ovaries and the breast.
Professor Pierson is a leader in multidisciplinary research on campus. He is an associate member of the Department of Herd Medicine and Theriogenology at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and a member of the Biomedical Engineering Section in the College of Engineering.
He has brought millions of dollars in research funding to the U of S through federal grants and pharmaceutical industry contracts, developed specialist post-graduate research training for residents, and contributes to continuing professional development of physicians. He takes a keen interest in the work of his many graduate students. He has received many honours and awards and has served on the executive of several medical societies of reproductive medicine. In 1999-2000, he served as President of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society. He has contributed to specialist medical education as co-editor of Imaging in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Infertility (1994). He is much in demand as a speaker at national and international conferences.
Professor Pierson has made groundbreaking discoveries and has played a leading role in his field nationally and internationally. He is a worthy recipient of this award.