A mandate for all physicians far and wide is “Do No Harm.” A mandate in which the health of the patient is prioritized above all else, and the health benefits of any treatment should outweigh the risks of that treatment. This creates a situation in which life-saving therapies with powerful and sometimes dangerous side effects are easily justified, because without treatment a very serious diagnosis could kill the patient entirely.
Our most recent MCI Youth Advisory Board member Claudia Brewer sat down with us to discuss her motivation in joining the board and her interest in male contraception. This blog post shares highlights from that conversation.
What do you study/what's your academic background?
I’m pursuing a B.S. in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology with a Minor in Society and Genetics at UCLA. My goal in college is to gain a deep understanding of human health, from the complex molecular mechanisms underlying disease to the broader social and political implications of the latest bioengineering technologies. Most of my background is in biological research and healthcare. Most recently, I conducted research on a pathogenic protein associated with Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases at the UCSB Neuroscience Research Institute. I currently serve as a scribe for a primary care physician at UCLA Health.
This blog post is written by Male Contraceptive Initiative's Executive Director Heather Vahdat, and is response to the article "The young women choosing to go without contraception"
It’s Saturday and I’m supposed to be finishing a project that was meant to be a Christmas gift for my mother-in-law...last year. However, I allowed myself a quick look on the computer to find a sewing pattern I need and poof, here I am frustrated and writing a blog post. I can’t say I’m surprised that I find myself writing about contraception - it’s the classic “one quick peek at facebook/linkedin/wherever you saw the article couldn’t hurt”. But tell me, how can I not be distracted after seeing this article in my newsfeed?
Male Contraceptive Initiative’s mission is, “to empower men, and couples, to fully contribute to family planning goals by providing them the resources they need for reproductive autonomy.” It is how we articulate our most hopeful vision of the future: one where there is reproductive autonomy for all people. This vision and associated mission directs our daily activities, which encompass financial support to the male contraception research community and advocating for the development of additional male contraceptives.
The drug development process is often presented as a linear process: you achieve one milestone before moving on to the next, with progress taking the developer ever forward. The Food and Drug Administration defines this process as such:
Based on the way that this information is conveyed, you might expect the process to visually represent something like this:
Understanding people’s perspectives around male contraception helps guide our work at MCI. Sharing them is a privilege as well as a mandate: it’s of strategic importance to us to facilitate and broadcast the interest for male methods in an effort to present the undeniable market demand for them. Normally this is done through the lens of our grantees, fellows, research community, or even the general public. But lately, we’ve been endeavoring to share the views of MCI’s staff as well. In that spirit, this is a conversation with our Communications & Marketing Director Kevin Shane in which he shares his thoughts about male contraception as well as his interest in working with MCI.
Oleksandr “Sasha” Kirsanov is a PhD candidate in the Geyer laboratory at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine. His work is focused on defining the mechanisms underlying spermatogonial differentiation and meiotic initiation. In this blog post, Sasha shares about his work in the field of contraception, what he hopes to learn as an MCI fellow, and the future outlook of male contraception.
Continuing our series sharing the thoughts and perspectives MCI staff has on male contraception, we sat down with our Program Coordinator Jaylan Weaver to hear his thoughts. Jaylan initially joined MCI as an undergraduate fellow, so he brings a unique perspective to a topic that means so much to all of us. In this post, he shares his motivations for working at Male Contraceptive Initiative as well as his thoughts about male contraception.
Saman Nayyab is a PhD student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in Dr. Pablo Visconti's Lab. She is interested in the field of reproduction--regardless if it is studying the male aspect or the female aspect--and believes there is much to uncover in this field. In this blog post, Saman shares about her work in the field of contraception, what she hopes to learn as an MCI fellow, and the future outlook of male contraception.
We continue sharing thoughts and perspectives from MCI staff members with this conversation with our Advocacy Strategist Kathryn Carpenter. Kathryn initially joined MCI as a Fellow from the UNC Gillings School of Public Health and now champions many of our advocacy efforts including the creation and management of MCI’s Youth Advisory Board. In this post, she shares her motivations for working at Male Contraceptive Initiative as well as her thoughts about male contraception.