Jerilynn C. Prior, MD, FRCPC
Shirin Kalyan, PhD
Dr. Azita Goshtasebi
Dr. Sonia Shirin
Jerilynn C. Prior BA, MD, FRCPC
Jerilynn C. Prior BA, MD, FRCPC is a Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. She has spent her career studying menstrual cycles and the effects of the cycle’s changing estrogen and progesterone hormone levels on women’s health. She is the founder (2002) and Scientific Director of the Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research (CeMCOR). CeMCOR is actively researching women’s health and has a very accessible, informative website that receives on average between 3500-7000 page views per day (www.cemcor.ca). She is also Director of the BC Centre of the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study (CaMOS – www.camos.org) that is studying osteoporosis, fractures and bone mineral density and has followed over 9000 adult women and men across the country for over 19 years, plus about a 1000 younger women and men aged 16-24 for two years.
Dr. Prior has studied women’s menstrual cycles, perimenopause, menopause and the causes for and treatment of osteoporosis. She has shown that regular cycles (with enough estrogen) commonly do not produce sufficient progesterone (anovulation or short luteal phases). She first discovered and has since proven by meta-analysis that more versus fewer ovulatory disturbances within regular cycles are related to significant spinal bone loss in healthy women ages 20-45. She has shown in controlled trials that the ovarian hormone, progesterone, is effective treatment for menopausal hot flushes and, given cyclically increases bone mineral density in healthy women with hypothalamic amenorrhea. She also documented in a 3-month placebo-controlled trial that progesterone is safe for cardiovascular health. Dr. Prior is internationally known for her cumulative studies that now support progesterone as causing women’s increased bone formation through progesterone-specific osteoblast receptors. She has documented that estrogen levels, besides being unpredictable, are significantly higher than normal in perimenopause, the 3-10 years of changes before menopause. She is widely sought as a speaker for professional and lay audiences and is the author of the award-winning book Estrogen’s Storm Season: Stories of Perimenopause, a fiction book designed to inform and empower perimenopausal women. Estrogen’s Storm Season was a finalist in the 2006 Independent Publishers Book Awards for Health. Dr. Prior along with Susan Baxter PhD, sociologist/medical journalist, is author of The Estrogen Errors – Why Progesterone Is Better for Women’s Health (2009). This book aims to inform women of the decades of presumption and prejudice behind estrogen-centric women’s health dogma. She has authored scientific papers numbering over 270 and holds 6 patents. She is an Honourary Alumna of the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine and was awarded its Distinguished Medical Research Lecturer Award (2002). She has numerous other honours including the Ann Voda Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 from the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research and the Knowledge Translation in Women’s Health Research Award from the BC Women’s Health Research Institute in 2017.
Dr. Prior grew up in Alaska where she completed grade school and high school. Using scholarships, she received a Bachelor's of Arts in English Literature at Linfield College, Oregon (with honours) in 1965. She graduated from Boston University School of Medicine (with honours) in 1969. She began her training in Internal Medicine in Boston. Dr. Prior has previously worked as a physician in Boston, Mass., Poughkeepsie and Syracuse NY, and Barrow and Fairbanks, Alaska. She moved to Canada in 1976 and became a citizen because she believes in the Canadian universal health care system.
Dr. Prior has been singing with the Vancouver Bach Choir since 1979, walks and kayaks for relaxation and health and loves to read. Her daughter and son live and work in Vancouver. In 2008 she became the very proud, "Granny J."
Dr. Shirin Kalyan earned her PhD in Experimental Medicine investigating the pivotal mediators of inflammation in toxic shock syndrome when she first became interested in the cross-regulatory relationship between the immune and endocrine (hormone producing) systems. Current understanding of this critical and complex relationship is poor, but Dr. Kalyan believes it would allow us to make better sense of the sex-discrepant prevalence of certain autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, and bone fragility disorders, such as osteoporosis, both of which have female sex as one of the greatest predictive risk factors. Dr. Kalyan furthered her inter- and cross-disciplinary background in immunology and endocrinology by pursuing novel research studying the interaction amongst steroidal hormones, inflammation, oxidative stress, and bone remodelling for her first postdoctoral training in clinical reproductive endocrinology. In 2010, Dr. Kalyan was awarded a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation of Germany to probe the mechanism leading to the observed serious adverse drug effects of a common medication used for osteoporosis and cancer-associated bone disease and discovered it was related to drug-induced immune dysfunction. Dr. Kalyan is now the Co-Director of the Vancouver region Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study to which she contributes her unique background in immunology and osteoporosis treatment. As a translational scientist, her goal is to establish a research program within CeMCOR that is internationally recognized for its unique comprehensive expertise in managing the complex immune-neuroendocrine relationship that influences bone and reproductive health, immunity and the progression of sex-discrepant degenerative diseases.
Bernice is a graduate of Boston University (2014, BA Psychology and Minor Statistics). She was born in China, then moved to Canada during her adolescence. Her previous experience as a research assistant at the UBC SEM lab allowed her to learn more hands-on skills for coordinating a research study. Inspired by the passion and the core values of CeMCOR, she joined CeMCOR in November 2015 as a study coordinator for the Canadian MultiCentre Osteoprosis Study (CaMos).