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Physician to be honored as 'Legend'

The Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed) recently announced that it will honor John E. Buster, MD, associate director of the Center for Reproduction and Infertility at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island and Tufts Medical Center, as one of its three "Legends" this May.

"Legends" are selected based upon their internationally recognized contributions to medicine through research and innovative clinical practice. The awards will be presented at LA BioMed's annual dinner.

"This is a wonderful honor for Dr. Buster and the hospital in general," said Constance A. Howes, president and CEO of Women & Infants. "Dr. Buster, like so many of our physicians, work tirelessly every day to help improve the lives of women. Through his innovation in the field of reproductive endocrinology and infertility, hundreds of thousands of couples are parents, and thousands of women have new potential solutions for the symptoms of menopause.

"He has impacted women's health care in unique and valuable ways."

Rich legacy in medicine

Dr. Buster has spent almost his entire career as a physician, spanning four decades, focused on reproductive endocrinology and infertility. His expertise within the field is varied - asssisted reproductive technology procedures, medical treatment and surgical treatment for infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss, preimplantation embryology, and female hormone replacement.

It was at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in 1983 that Dr. Buster revolutionized the standards for the treatment of women with infertility and those with genetic conditions they did not want to pass onto their child. He directed the research team that performed the world's first human embryo transfer, which resulted in a live birth in February 1984. As part of the procedure, an embryo was created in one woman using the sperm of an infertile woman's husband through artificial insemination. Once the embryo was beginning to develop, Dr. Buster's team transferred it from the first woman to the second, who gave birth 38 weeks later.

This breakthrough gave many women new hope for natural parenthood through a means that allows them to bear a child that contains their husband's genetic makeup. Since the initial birth in 1984, more than 170,000 live births have resulted from donor embryo transfer. Dr. Buster's work also established the legal-ethical framework and technical foundation for the clinical use of human oocyte and embryo donation, which is now a mainstream clinical practice.

More recently, Dr. Buster helped develop a testosterone delivery system for women called Intrinsa which is now being marketed in Europe. The transdermal patch delivers chemically identical testosterone directly into the body's microvascular circulation, much like an artificial endocrine organ. Dr. Buster was the lead investigator in a major study that demonstrated the effectiveness of this patch to treat decreased sexual desire in postmenopausal women.

In addition, Dr. Buster served as lead investigator in another major study demonstrating the effectiveness of an estradiol mist called Evamist, which offers women a safe way to stem the impact of hot flashes in menopause.

Curriculum vitae

Dr. Buster attended Stanford University and earned his medical degree from the University of California-Los Angeles School of Medicine, where he also completed his residency training in obstetrics and gynecology and a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. He is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and in the subspecialty of reproductive endocrinology and infertility, and serves as a diplomat with the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

In addition to his clinical work in both Providence and Boston, Dr. Buster is a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Before relocating to the east coast, he was director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at UCLA School of Medicine and then director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Dr. Buster is a well-known international lecturer and has authored more than 200 scientific papers in the field of reproductive endocrinology and infertility. He is a director for the Society of Reproductive Endocrinologists and chair of its Practice and Fellowship committees. He is also on the Fellowship Committee for the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society.

In the past decade, Dr. Buster has been recognized for his clinical expertise by various lay publications, including Castle Connolly's Best Doctors in America, Good Housekeeping's 401 Best Doctors for Women, the Consumers Research Council of America's Guide to America's Top Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and, in 2011, in Boston Magazine as a top doctor for reproductive endocrinology. Also last year, he was selected for a Patients' Choice Award, an honor given to just five percent of practicing physicians in the country.


Contact: Susan McDonald
Women & Infants Hospital

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