Another large conference/convention is here in Grand Rapids, and it's a real feather in our hat to have it here this weekend.

More than 800 researchers from over 36 countries are attending the 47th annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR) here in Grand Rapids. This is the largest annual international meeting in the field of reproductive biology. The conference began Saturday, July 19 and continues through Wednesday, July 23 at Devos Place Convention Center. It is dedicated to advancing the knowledge of the reproductive process in humans and animals, while also studying the impact of reproduction on the environment, wildlife biology and conservation, food production, human fertility and population growth.

Why Grand Rapids? The Society for the Study of Reproduction chose Grand Rapids because of the pioneering research in women's heath being done at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.

This research has been made possible, in part, by nearly $8 million in national grants to Grand Rapids institutions last year. Researchers at MSU have used this funding to study benign and malignant gynecological diseases, which will help discover new treatments and better understanding of proper ovarian function for reproduction. This research has significant implications for the treatment of infertility in humans and farm animals, as well as developing better diagnoses and treatments for gynecological diseases.

Renowned international and national speakers will lecture on topics that include the latest research on human population growth and contraception, cloning, our genetic relationship to Neanderthals, animal agriculture and its importance in meeting the future needs of a growing human population, and how environmental and dietary exposures during pregnancy impacts future health of children.

More information regarding Grand Rapids can be found at the Experience Grand Rapids website, http://www.experiencegr.com.