Régine Sitruk-Ware

Distinguished Scientist

Center for Biomedical Research, New York, United States

Régine Sitruk-Ware is a distinguished scientist at the Population Council’s Center for Biomedical Research (CBR) and a world-renowned reproductive endocrinologist. She oversees preclinical and basic research in reproductive biology and clinical development of new contraceptive technologies.

In 2018, Sitruk-Ware was named one of Time Magazine’s 50 Most Influential People in Health Care of 2018 for her research and leadership, which led to the US FDA approval of Annovera™ (segesterone acetate and ethinyl estradiol vaginal system), the first and only contraceptive that provides an entire year of protection against unintended pregnancy while fully under a woman’s control.

At the Center for Biomedical Research, Sitruk-Ware developed a clinical strategy and created the infrastructure to test the safety and efficacy of Annovera in two pivotal Phase III clinical trials.

Throughout her 18 years at the Population Council, Sitruk-Ware has been researching segesterone acetate (Nestorone®), a novel progestin found in Annovera. Currently, in collaboration with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) she is overseeing trials to test the safety and effectiveness of a Nestorone®/Testosterone transdermal gel as a contraceptive for men, the first to test the effect of a male contraceptive on unintended pregnancy. She is also leading a team studying the potential benefits of Nestorone in neuro-regeneration and myelin repair in various disease models including multiple sclerosis and recovery from stroke.

In 2007, Sitruk-Ware became the first female chairwoman of the International Committee for Contraception Research (ICCR)—an alliance of distinguished scientists and clinical investigators who have advised on and conducted clinical trials that led to the development and introduction of innovative contraceptive technologies, including Annovera.

Before serving as a distinguished scientist, Sitruk-Ware was the executive director of research and development for the Council’s Reproductive Health program.

She is co-founder of the International Consortium of Male Contraception, a network dedicated to actively promoting the medical and socio-cultural aspects of male contraception.

Sitruk-Ware’s research interests lie in discovering whether new methods can not only meet the basic contraceptive needs of men and women, but also contribute additional health benefits. She believes that confirming additional benefits may translate to improved use of contraceptives and more productive engagement in family planning among men and women. A significant aspect of her research focused on the development of non-oral delivery contraceptive systems, such as the use of transdermal gels and vaginal rings.

Before joining the Council, Sitruk-Ware taught and conducted clinical research in reproductive endocrinology at the University of Paris. She was also vice director at Ciba Geigy’s Medical Department, and director of research and development at Theramex (Monaco) and Exelgyn (Paris). She is a founding member of the International Menopause Society and was its general secretary from 2008 to 2011. She is also an active member of the European Society for Contraception and was the program director and principal investigator of the Contraception Research Center at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) from 2002–2017. She has served as adviser to committees of the World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health/NICHD, and the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences. Sitruk-Ware has written eight books and over 300 articles, addressing men and women’s healthcare issues.

Sitruk-Ware received her medical doctorate at the University of Paris in France and was an adjunct professor at Rockefeller University.

Work by Régine Sitruk-Ware