Our warmest congratulations to Dr Stasa Stankovic, who has been awarded the prestigious Milo Keynes Prize for the most exceptional PhD work within the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine for the year 2022-23! Milo Keynes, the great-grandson of Charles Darwin, established the Milo Keynes Fund just before his death to support prizes for outstanding medical research in Cambridge. Stasa’s PhD thesis, supervised by Professor John Perry (MRC Epidemiology) was entitled Using human genomics to decipher biological mechanisms governing reproductive ageing and fertility in women.
Stasa also recently filmed an episode for BBC Click on Women in Tech, which was broadcast across different platforms of the BBC.
Stasa’s PhD work challenges current thinking on the genetic causes of very early menopause. The genetic causes of very early menopause will have to be reconsidered after researchers found that nearly all women who carried variations thought to cause the condition in fact had their menopause at an older age.
Stasa’s work is focused on deciphering genetic architecture of reproductive ageing and fertility, and their link to health outcomes in women. This work led to the discovery of genetic signals that influence the age women begin menopause and the first evidence of the ability to, through gene manipulation, extend reproductive lifespan and improve fertility in mice.
This groundbreaking work is now paving the path towards the first genetic test for the prediction of menopause time and next-generation therapeutics for ovary-centric disorders in humans, such as infertility, polycystic ovaries, early menopause etc., and will lead to greater support for family and fertility planning early on.
We wish Stasa all the best in her future endeavours!