William J. Bremner, chair of the UW Department of Medicine and an international authority on male reproductive endocrinology, has been awarded the 2009 Distinguished Andrologist Award by the American Society of Andrology. This is the highest award of the society, and it is presented annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the progress of andrology, the study of the male reproductive system. The award was presented to Bremner during the society’s 34th annual meeting in Philadelphia earlier this month.
Founded in 1975, the society has several hundred members from all over the world whose specialty fields include male reproduction, endocrinology, urology, anatomy, gynecology/obstetrics, biochemistry, animal science, molecular and cell biology, and reproductive technologies.
Bremner, who holds the Robert G. Petersdorf Endowed Chair in Medicine, became the fifth chair of the Department of Medicine in 1998, succeeding Paul Ramsey, who was named vice president for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine in 1997. A graduate of Harvard and the UW School of Medicine, Bremner completed his internship at Vanderbilt, followed by residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in endocrinology at the UW. He then earned a Ph.D. in physiology and medicine at Monash University in Australia. He joined the department faculty in 1977 and became chief of endocrinology at the Seattle VA Medical Center in 1979. In 1987 he became a full professor of medicine, chief of medical service at the VA, and vice-chair of the Department of Medicine.
Bremner’s research is directed at understanding the control systems for human reproduction, including the hormonal control of sperm production. He has also worked on the development of a safe, reversible male contraceptive. In 1977 he co-founded the interdisciplinary UW Population Center for Research in Reproduction. Today he directs the UW Center for Research in Reproduction and Contraception, founded in 2002 and renewed in 2007 with an $8.7 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant. The center is part of the national Cooperative Contraceptive Research Centers Program, funded by the Contraception and Reproductive Health Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
A fellow of the American College of Physicians, Bremner is a past president of the American Society of Andrology, as well as the Association of Professors of Medicine, the Western Association of Physicians, and the Seattle Academy of Internal Medicine. He has served as a consultant to the NIH, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Olympic Committee, the Agency for International Development, the Institute of Medicine, and numerous other national and international bodies. He is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honorary and has received the Henry Christian Award for Excellence in Research from the American Federation for Clinical Research, the Mayo Soley Award from the Western Society for Clinical Investigation, and the University of Washington School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award. He has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Associations of American Physicians, both scientific honorary societies.