“"She was a legend in her field. She had a superb scientific mind and was able to see the value of science better than anybody else around. Her work at the Jones Institute opened significant avenues for women with infertility. She really was behind making in-vitro fertilization possible in the United States." (Alfred Abuhamad, M.D., chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Eastern Virginia Medical School)”
Former Rep. Ed Schrock
“PIONEER IN REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE”
Georgeanna Seegar Jones, M.D., a pioneer in reproductive endocrinology, came to Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) in Norfolk, VA in 1978 after a distinguished career at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and promptly made history when with her husband, Howard W. Jones, Jr. M.D., they founded the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine, and created the first in-vitro fertilization program in the nation, leading to the birth of the first in-vitro baby in the United States, a girl born in 1981.
Before coming to EVMS, Seegar Jones led pioneering studies of the role of the pituitary hormones and of the ovarian hormones estrogen and progesterone in their application to patients in need of clinical care. Her groundbreaking research also showed that the pregnancy hormone (now called chorionic gonadotropin) originates in the placenta rather than in the pituitary gland, as was previously believed. The home pregnancy test used today came from this research.
As a gynecologic endocrinologist, she devoted decades to improving infertility treatment for women. In recognition of her work, the Jones Institute's foundation established the Georgeanna Seegar Jones Research Fund to ensure continued applied research in women's infertility.
Nominated as a Local Legend by former Representative Ed Schrock (R-VA-2nd), Seegar Jones was a professor emeritus at both EVMS and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
A native of Baltimore, she received her medical degree and completed her residency at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and was a fellow a t the National Institutes of Health. After her training, she became director of the Johns Hopkins' Laboratory of Reproductive Physiology.
In 1936, she became one of the first gynecological endocrinologists on a medical school faculty in the United States when Hopkins appointed her gynecologist-in-charge of the hospital's gynecologic endocrine clinic. She remained there until moving to Norfolk in 1978.
Georgeanna Seegar Jones authored more than 300 peer-reviewed scientific articles and more than 20 book chapters, as well as multiple textbooks used by generations of medical students worldwide. With her husband, she co-edited the medical journal The Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey from 1957 to 1989.
In 1970, she became the first female president of the American Fertility Society; and in 1986 she was elected to the Society of Hopkins Scholars. She received the Dean's Outstanding Faculty Award from EVMS, 1996, the Johns Hopkins Distinguished Alumnus Award, 1997, the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society of Gynecological Investigation, 2000, and the Bertarelli Foundation Award in Reproductive Health, 2002.
The Jacobs Institute for Women's Health presented its Lifetime Achievement Award to Seegar Jones and her husband Howard in 2002 for their work in reproductive health and their long-standing commitment to improving women's health care.
She held honorary degrees from Goucher College (1970), Old Dominion University (1986), Amherst College (1986), and EVMS (1987).
"She opened up new ways to do research in reproductive medicine, and was just a wonderful person with whom to work" a colleague, Gerald J. Pepe, Ph.D., said of her.
Georgeanna Seegar Jones died on March 26, 2005 at the age of 92.
Was the first to demonstrate that the pregnancy hormone (now called chorionic gonadotropin) originated in the placenta rather than in the pituitary gland, as was commonly thought
Appointed Gynecologist-in-Charge, Gynecological Endocrine Clinic, Director of Laboratory, Reproductive Physiology, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD
Established (with her husband Howard W. Jones, Jr., M.D.) Division of Reproductive Endocrinology at The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD
Appointed Associate Professor, Gynecology and Obstetrics, (Professor Emeritus, 1978) Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
Appointed Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, (Professor Emeritus, 1997), Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA
Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine of Eastern Virginia Medical School achieves the first birth by in-vitro fertilization in the United States
1912 (died 2005)
The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Endocrinology and Reproductive Medicine