This award is named in honor of Dr. Carolyn B. Coulam, a physician-scientist, reproductive immunologist, endocrinologist, infertility researcher, and practitioner, who was a founding member of the ASRI. Dr. Coulam spent her career researching the immune etiologies of infertility and recurrent miscarriage. She was inspirational as an academic physician that cared deeply for her patients, a researcher who demanded that science help them, and a true mentor, colleague, and friend to many in the ASRI.
In her honor, this award was established in 2021 to be offered annually to an outstanding female physician-scientist in the field of reproductive immunology. As a guide, candidates should be at the Assistant/Associate Professor level who have demonstrated commitments, by publication and/or practice, to scholarly advances in the field of reproductive immunology. Candidates can be nominated by others or can self-nominate. The award comprises a monetary prize and an invitation to contribute an article to the annual issue of American Journal of Reproductive Immunology. The article will be subject to normal peer review procedures. The awardee may be asked to present a seminar at an annual ASRI meeting.
Carolyn Bedke Coulam, MD
1943 ~ 2020
Carolyn B. Coulam, MD, a pioneer in the medical field of infertility and dedicated family member, died of breast cancer Friday, November 13th, 2020 at the age of 77. She was born on April 14th, 1943 to Jane Andrews Bedke and Hazen Howard Bedke in Salt Lake City, Utah. Carolyn had a remarkable life, both professionally and personally, and has left a legacy that will endure for generations to come. From the beginning, she had a passion for understanding the origin and evolution of life. She pursued this passion through medical school and into the field of reproductive medicine, establishing the very first IVF program at the Mayo Clinic in 1983. Carolyn was not one to rest on her laurels though. She was relentlessly committed to bringing life into this world and spent the rest of her career doing just that.
Over the years, Carolyn directed several reproductive medical programs and authored more than 200 publications in peer-reviewed journals. Her work provided significant insight into and means for improving embryo implantation. Carolyn's overarching mission, however, was to solve recurrent pregnancy loss by identifying the true source of the problem. This, she believed, was how she could best serve her patients and fulfill her life's purpose, giving those struggling to conceive answers and ultimately hope. Upon terminal diagnosis, Carolyn was calling colleagues from a hospital bed to ensure this work was passed on and would continue to shed light in death as it did in life.
Those who knew Carolyn understand she was not one to do things half measure. So of course she carried her commitment to procreation into the home where she was mom to 10 children and eventually grandma to 26 grandchildren. When asked about her greatest accomplishments, Carolyn's answer was singular: being a mom to 10 kids she could not have been more proud of. And they, in their own right, could not be more proud of her-the example she led by, the support she provided, and the heart she offered to everyone and everything she touched.
2022 Award Recipient
Dr. Joanne Kwak-Kim with Dr. Chelsi Goodman (Carolyn Coulam's daughter) and her husband, Luke Goodman, at the ASRI 2022 Award Ceremony