Life, the condition that makes us and all other living organisms special. Defined as the ability to grow, function, change, reproduce and eventually die. But what’s the secret behind human life? Somehow two simple cells manage to give rise to a complex and multi-organic system, a full-grown human body.

We may not fully understand the mysteries behind it, but it has passed the time when we settled for ignorance. If it fails, can we intervene? If there’s an error, can we fix it? Are we changing the way we look at reproduction? Are we changing the way we look at sex itself? Alongside dolphins, we are the only mammals that have sex for non-reproduction purposes. So many questions and an arduous search for answers, but that’s the beauty of pursuing The Secret of Life.

Speakers

Neel Shah, MD

Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Delivery Decisions Initiative at Ariadne Labs, Obstetrician-gynecologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Dr. Neel Shah is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Delivery Decisions Initiative at Ariadne Labs and an Obstetrician-gynecologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in Boston. He is globally recognized for designing, testing, and spreading solutions to improve healthcare and for his efforts to expose how overtreatment can harm patients. His team is currently collaborating with hospitals across the United States to reduce the epidemic of avoidable c-sections. Dr. Shah earned joint degrees in medicine and public policy from Brown University and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He completed residency at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital.

He has been listed among the “40 smartest people in health care” by the Becker’s Hospital Review. He is senior author of the book “Understanding Value-Based Healthcare”, highly acclaimed by his peers and called by Atul Gawande “a masterful primer for all clinicians”.  Dr. Neel Shah is also the Founder and Executive Director of Costs of Care, a global NGO that curates insights from clinicians that help delivery systems provide better care at lower cost, and March for Moms Association, an organization that aims to improve the well being of mothers.

Marci Bowers, MD

Pelvic and Gynecologic Surgeon,  Sex Reassignment Surgeon, Pro-bono Clitoral Restoration Surgeon, Founder of the first US Transgender Surgical Educational Program, Member of WPATH, Member of the board of directors for GLAAD and the Transgender Law Center

Dr. Bowers is a pelvic and gynecologic surgeon with nearly 28 years of experience, based in California. She was born under the name of Mark Bowers in 1958 and graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School. After finishing her Ob/Gyn residency at the University of Washington, she kept practitioning in Seattle, where she delivered more than 2000 babies. Dr. Bowers married and had three children. In 1998, Dr. Mark Bowers went through gender reassignment surgery becoming Dr. Marci Bowers. Later she joined Dr. Stanley Biber, a pioneer in sex reassignment surgery, in Colorado, becoming the first woman in the world to hold a personal transgender history while performing transgender surgery. She also worked with the French surgeon Pierre Foldès, gaining expertise on how to functionally restore the damage caused by Female Genital Mutilation. Since then, Dr. Bowers has participated in numerous pro-bono clitoral restoration surgery missions in Africa.

In 2016, she established the first transgender surgical educational program in the USA. She’s a member of WPATH and serves on the board of directors of multiple organizations that fight for LGBT rights. She was considered one of the 100 most influential LGBT people on the world by The Guardian and is also recognized as one of Huffington Post’s 50 Transgender Icons. Her work has been featured in numerous documentaries and TV shows.

Jeanne Conry, MD, PhD

Obstetrician-gynecologist, President and CEO of the Environmental Health Leadership Foundation,  Executive Board for the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), President-elect of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO)

Dr. Jeanne Conry is an obstetrician-gynecologist in Roseville, California, with more than 20 years of experience.  She got her medical degree and did her residency at University of California Davis School of Medicine and earned her PhD on Biology from the University of Colorado. She worked with Kaiser Permanente Roseville and Sacramento Medical Centers, among others, being also responsible for the development of their Women and Children’s Center. Dr. Conry was the 64th President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She led to development of guidelines and national policies on Reproductive Health and the Environment, being awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Pacific Southwest Region Children’s Environmental Health Champion Award. She also introduced the National Maternal Health Initiative and is leading the Women’s Preventive Services Initiative.

Dr. Jeanne Conry currently serves as President and CEO of the Environmental Health Leadership Foundation and sits on the Executive Board for the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), co-leading their working group on Reproductive Developmental and Environmental Health. She received the Visionary Leadership Award from the University of California and the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2018, Dra. Jeanne Conry became president-elect of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) at the XXII FIGO World Congress and starts her three-year term in 2021.

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