The establishment of a Howard and Georgeanna Jones symposium to be held at the annual meetings of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine could have happened only with the support of countless people. I use this medium to express my great gratitude to these many individuals.
Through the years, clinicians of various specialties, scientists also of various specialties, lawyers, philosophers, clergymen, concerned citizens, nurses, technicians, secretaries, especially Nancy Garcia, my loyal assistant of 30+ years, and other staff members from all continents, have provided intimate input and support to overcome biological and sometimes sociological-cultural obstacles standing in the path of innovative therapies devised to overcome problems never before solved.
In addition to these frontline participants, I am grateful to division chiefs, departmental chairmen, deans, and presidents of the Johns Hopkins University and the Eastern Virginia Medical School who were prepared to support activities in sensitive fields of investigation.
Furthermore, I am reminded with gratitude of the many contributors of private funds and the organizers of these contributors, especially Howard Milstein, Chairman, and Mary Davies, President, of the Howard and Georgeanna Jones Foundation for Reproductive Medicine, all of whom supported investigations in fields which still remain off limits to a segment of our population and to their political representatives.
Needless to say, I am grateful to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and to its special committee for creating this annual symposium. I have reason to believe that the whole idea was through the efforts of Suheil Muasher, who was aided by a committee of William Gibbons, Sergio Oehninger, Robert Rebar, Zev Rosenwaks, James Toner, Edward Wallach, and Pamela Gallagher.
I must also acknowledge the quintessential help of the EMD Serono Company for endowing this symposium, with special recognition and gratitude to Fereydoun Firouz, Leslie Nies, and David Stern. It was their product, Pergonal, which was used some 30 years ago to first successfully cause ovarian stimulation in a normally menstruating woman to recruit additional eggs to enhance the success of the then struggling in vitro fertilization. This concept is still in vogue.
Let me also say that it is quite appropriate that this symposium also bear the name of my late wife and partner, Georgeanna. In 1970, some 26 years after the founding of the American Fertility Society, she became its 23rd president -- the only woman president the Society ever had. To be sure, after its rebirth as the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, it finally had a second woman president some 27 years after Georgeanna's presidency. Georgeanna was the only woman president in the first 52 years of the Society's existence.
And finally, I am grateful to my three children, Howard, Georgeanna, and Larry, and their families, for their love and support through thick and thin, and, of course, I am grateful to my parents for their love and support, and for genes consistent with longevity.
Howard W. Jones, Jr., M.D.
October 25, 2010