Henry Gabelnick, executive director of the CONRAD Program, gave the Alan F. Guttmacher Lecture for the Association for Reproductive Health (ARHP) on October 2 at Reproductive Health 2009. ARHP joined Planned Parenthood Federation of America National Medical Committee and the Society of Family Planning to present the conference.

Gabelnick’s lecture, “The Challenge of Providing Dual Protection,” gave updates of some of the current research being conducted at CONRAD, plus a summary of related scientific challenges and potential solutions. Gabelnick’s objective in presenting this topic was to increase awareness of the need to fund and develop methods of contraception that also serves to prevent HIV and STI infections. For over twenty years CONRAD has been involved in this quest.

With its main office based in Arlington, Virginia, CONRAD is a Division of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) in Norfolk. The organization’s overall goal is to improve reproductive health, especially in developing countries.

Gabelnick, who received his PhD from Princeton in chemical engineering, joined CONRAD in 1986, the year it was established. In 1990, he became its director. Gabelnick is also a member of the faculty in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at EVMS.

He has served on many panels, including of those of the National Research Council, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Currently, Gabelnick is President of the Society for the Advancement of Reproductive Care.

The Alan F. Guttmacher Lectureship is “awarded to a health care provider or scientist who has been a major contributor to the field of reproductive health,” according to the ARHP. “The lecture addresses a major scientific advancement that has significant reproductive health resonance in both the scientific and medical communities.”