Catching Up: Dr. George Seidel

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Published on: September 13, 2016

gespic3I started working at Colorado State University 45 years ago. I am theoretically retired, but hired back for 6 hours/week on an hourly basis. Theory notwithstanding, I still work essentially full time at the University including a lot of writing and travel, some teaching and mentoring, reviewing research proposals and manuscripts for journals, conducting experiments to synchronize ovulation, etc.

Sarah and I also have a registered Angus seedstock operation on our cattle ranch, currently with over 350 mother cows and 100 bred heifers plus clean-up bulls and bulls for sale. All of these cattle are on experiments of one sort or another in collaboration with faculty at the University We also have a complicated research project with over 50 cross bred heifers per year which we breed with sexed semen, and fatten and slaughter after first calf, with the idea that most heifers replace themselves with a heifer calf; thus the herd is self-sustaining with no need for a conventional cow herd.

I was asked by Dr. Iager to comment on the 5 most significant/innovative changes in bovine embryo transfer over the last 50 years. My first bovine embryo transfer was done at Cornell University 48 years ago, surgically to the oviduct. My list follows:

1. Nonsurgical recovery and transfer of embryos
2. Efficacious methods to synchronize ovulation, particularly prostaglandin F-2-alpha
3. Efficacious cryopreservation of embryos
4. Ultrasonography, used to determine pregnancy, ovarian status, sexing fetuses, transvaginal oocyte recovery, etcgesphoto1
5. Efficacious IVF

None of the above was available for routine use 50 years ago. A number of techniques are coming along that likely will grow in importance, such as sexed semen, transgenics, cloning, genotyping embryos, etc,. but they likely will not have the impact of the above 5 for some years. For perspective, the following papers may be of interest:

Seidel, G.E,. Jr. 1991. Embryo transfer: the next 100 years. Theriogenology 35:171-180.

Seidel, G.E., Jr. 2015. Lessons from reproductive technology research. Annu Rev Anim Biosci 3:467-487.

Seidel. G. E,. Jr. 2016. Assisted reproduction with gametes and embryos: what research is needed and fundable? Reprod Fertil Dev. 28:125-129.

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