About Jones Rounds

 Jones Rounds has had ongoing support from co-investigators from Georgetown’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics (KIE) Bioethics Professor Laura Bishop and Director of Georgetown Law Center’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law Professor Katie Gottschalk, KIE Ethics Lab innovators, as well as outside content expert consultants in law, psychology and reproductive medicine.

Our People

Susan Crockin, J.D.
has been deeply involved in the evolving legal, ethical and policy dimensions of the ARTs since 1988, when she opened one of the first legal practices in the country devoted to ART and adoption family building and that same year was part of the successful effort to enact mandated infertility coverage in Massachusetts.  She has worked in the space devoted to the frequently intertwined legal, policy and ethical aspects of the ARTs continuously since then.

Susan developed an enduring professional and personal relationship with Drs. Howard and Georgeanna Jones beginning in the late 1980’s. She and “Dr. Howard” collaborated on a wide range of inter-disciplinary efforts and publications, including a two-day taped interview in 2015 reflecting on his views and career impact on the legal and ethical aspects of the ARTs which formed the genesis for Jones Rounds.

Susan currently teaches ART Law courses she developed at Georgetown University Law Center where she is an adjunct professor and senior scholar at its O’Neill Center for National & Global Health Law and a faculty affiliate at Georgetown University’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics. She has authored or co-authored numerous scholarly articles, a regular column “Legally Speaking,” and three books, including with Dr. Howard Jones “Legal Conceptions: the evolving law and policy of assisted reproductive technologies” (Johns Hopkins Press 2010).  She is a frequent national lecturer on the legal, ethical and policy aspects of the ARTs, maintains her private legal and consulting practice on ART Law, and is a current member of the Ethics Committee of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.

Susan received her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law and her B.A. summa cum laude from Tufts University.

Laura Bishop, Ph.D. is Associate Teaching Professor and Academic Program Director at Georgetown University’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics (KIE). Her research interests include teaching ethics and curriculum development, the role of the family in medical decision making, bioethics education in secondary schools, bioethics themes in movies, and dental ethics.  At Georgetown, she focuses on bioethics curricular and extra-curricular initiatives for undergraduates and the campus community, is the founder and Head of the Undergraduate Bioethics Showcase, develops academic content for the KIE’s annual Conversations in Bioethics, is the program administrator for the KIE’s visiting international research scholars program, and fosters collaborative opportunities for bioethics education with professional groups and organizations.

Dr. Bishop received her PhD from Georgetown in philosophy, with a concentration in bioethics. She received her undergraduate degree from Wells College where she majored in biology and minored in science and human values.

Katie Gottschalk, J.D., L.L.M., is the Executive Director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law Center. Her work focuses on the intersection of health and regulatory frameworks; from regulating emerging technologies to global frameworks for surrogacy and comparative analysis of vaccine legislation and regulation; and investigates how to create enabling environments for improving health across populations.

Katie holds a Master of Laws in Global Health Law from Georgetown University, a J.D. from New York Law School, and a B.A. in Architecture from the University of Colorado.

Andrea Braverman, Ph.D. is a Clinical Professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Braverman is the Associate Director for the Educational Core for OB/Gyn. She is a health psychologist with a specialty in medical health management and infertility counseling. Dr. Braverman has served on the ASRM’s Ethics Committee, chaired its MHPG committee, and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and lectured internationally on infertility and mental health.

Dr. Braverman received her M.A., M.S. and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. She received the Timothy Jeffries Memorial award in 2011 for outstanding contributions as a health psychologist from the American Psychological Association.

Legal Advisors:

Amy Altman, J.D. has extensive legal expertise in Third-Party ART Law and is currently legal counsel at US Fertility. She has worked with Susan Crockin and been associated with the Crockin Law & Policy Group, PLLC as an associate or “of counsel” since 1991.

Amy received her JD from Boston University School of Law and her undergraduate degree from Tufts University.

Francesca Nardi, J.D., LL.M. is an associate at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown Law, where she works on a range of issues at the intersection of law and health.

Francesca holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in communications from York University, a Bachelor of Civil Laws from McGill University, a J.D. from McGill University, and a Master of Laws in national and global health law from Georgetown University, where she graduated with distinction and her academic achievement in the field was recognized with the Thomas Bradbury Chetwood, S.J. Prize. Francesca is admitted to practice law in New York.

Medical Advisors:

Robert J. Stillman, M.D. has held a career long interest in the inter-disciplinary aspects of IVF and the ARTs and has published widely in the field, including the cherished honor of having co-authored with his mentor, Dr. Howard Jones, on promoting the safety of elective single embryo transfers in IVF (one of Dr. Jones’ last professional articles in 2013 (*), a shared and long advocated for goal which has since become standard of care.

Dr. Stillman is a regular guest lecturer at Georgetown Law Center’s “Assisted Reproductive Technology and the Law,” taught by Susan Crockin, J.D., providing medical and scientific insights to JD and LLM students in these ever-changing fields of law, medicine and ethics.

Dr. Stillman is the former medical director of Shady Grove Fertility and clinical professor at Georgetown U. School of Medicine, Department of Ob/Gyn, is a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist with diverse knowledge and more than 40 years of experience in teaching and treating reproductive disorders and infertility.  A longtime member and former member of the Board of Directors, of ASRM, Maryland board member of RESOLVE, and former professor and director of the reproductive endocrinology and fertility and in vitro fertilization programs at The George Washington University, as well as a faculty member at the National Institutes of Health.  Dr. Stillman earned his medical degree at Georgetown University, completed a residency in Ob/Gyn at Duke University, and a 2-year fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Harvard University.

Ruth Lathi, M.D. has a special interest in treating recurrent pregnancy loss, the role of preimplantation genetic diagnosis in the treatment of reproductive disorders, and the prognostic value and utility of genetic testing of miscarriage tissues, and long-term outcomes of fertility treatments. She is currently the Program Director of the REI Fellowship at Stanford University, where she has been on the faculty since 2003; a Professor in Stanford’s Department of Ob/Gyn and Director of the Multi-specialty Recurrent Pregnancy Loss program.

Dr. Lathi graduated from MIT with a B.S. in Molecular Biology, earned her M.D. degree at University of California, San Francisco, and completed her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine. She completed her REI fellowship training in at Stanford University.

Thomas L. Toth, M.D. worked closely with Drs. Howard and Georgeanna Jones on pioneering work on the use of natural sugars in egg freezing that has become standard of care worldwide, and has a long-standing special interest in egg freezing/fertility preservation. He obtained his Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the Jones Institute of Reproductive Medicine. He is double board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology/Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility; currently practices at Boston IVF and is an Associate Professor of Ob/Gyn and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School; was the founding director of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) IVF Unit and Fellowship Training Program in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, and is the recipient of numerous recognitions and teaching awards.

Dr. Toth earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from the U. of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine accelerated/combined BA/MD program and received his Residency training in Ob/Gyn and Reproductive Biology at the Brigham and Women’s/MGH and Harvard Medical School, and completed his REI fellowship training at the Jones Institute.

Eve Feinberg, M.D. has a thriving clinical practice and is involved on a national level in the field of reproductive medicine.  She is currently an Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University,  the past president for the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and an Editorial Editor the journal Fertility and Sterility. She is also the creator and co-host of Fertility and Sterility On-Air podcast.  Her clinical research interests include physician burnout, oocyte vitrification for fertility preservation and racial disparity in access and outcomes of in-vitro fertilization. Dr. Feinberg is founder and president of the Chicago Coalition for Family Building, a not-for-profit that gives financial assistance to individuals and couples struggling with infertility.

Dr. Feinberg graduated from Emory University, earned her MD degree from Rush Medical College, completed her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University, and completed her REI fellowship training at the NIH.

A Very Personal Perspective on the Inspiring Life and Career of Dr. Howard W. Jones, Jr.

Often called the “father of IVF,” Dr. Howard (as he was known by all who trained under him) and his late wife and career partner, “Dr. Georgeanna” was an ethical visionary as well as a medical pioneer in his lifelong approach to reproductive medicine. 

Remarkably, many of those contributions occurred after his and Dr. Georgeanna’s  mandatory retirement from Johns Hopkins in 1978, after their decision to move to Norfolk, Virginia to join the fledgling Ob/Gyn department at the newly established Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS).  Arriving as the world’s first IVF baby, Louise Brown, was born in the UK, they quickly established the Jones Institute of Reproductive Medicine at EVMS, where the first US IVF baby, Elizabeth Carr, was born in 1981.

In 1986, I had the privilege of meeting both Drs. Jones, and over the next 3 decades to work closely with Dr. Howard. In 1984, he had urged the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM, then AFS) to create an Ethics Committee following his and Dr. Georgeanna’s invitation to the Vatican to advise the pope on the ARTs; named as its 1st chair, he oversaw the committee’s inaugural publication, “Ethical Considerations of the New Assisted Reproductive Technologies.That document’s definition of an IVF embryo as a unique entity “deserving of special respect” due to its unique ability to form a human being was adopted by the first appellate US court decision resolving a frozen embryo dispute, Davis v. Davis (Tenn. 1992), and continues to shape the legal frameworks for the ARTs today. 

In 1990, as the novel Davis dispute began to move through the courts with growing media coverage, Dr. Howard encouraged my decision to create a legal column for the medical community explaining how the law was both reacting to and shaping the ARTS. “Legally Speaking: a column highlighting recent court decisions affecting the Assisted Reproductive Technologies and the families they create,” has run continuously in ASRM News since then.

Over the next two decades, Dr. Howard and I co-authored a number of articles, and in 2010 published our book Legal Conceptions: the evolving law and policy of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (Johns Hopkins 2010) (his tenth of thirteen). On what became my annual trips to Norfolk to lecture to EVMS embryology masters students, we would have lively discussions about novel, thought-provoking ART issues large and small. His baritone voice-  in the lecture hall, afterwards at his desk, or over the phone between visits– always signaled the beginning of a fascinating, imaginative, and wide-ranging debate over critical, multi-disciplinary issues surrounding the ARTs.  

In 2015, as it became apparent Dr. Howard could not live forever, the concept of Jones Rounds came to me and I spent two days in Norfolk interviewing him, striving to capture his remarkable life and legacy.  Jones Rounds incorporates some of that footage- reflecting, in Dr. Howard’s own voice, his unparalleled curiosity and lifelong passion for learning and advancing all aspects of the ARTs.

Until his death, Dr. Howard was a passionate, impactful voice on emerging legal, ethical and policy perspectives surrounding the ARTs – including the serious health risks of multi-fetal pregnancies, insurance coverage for infertility treatments, and the impact on IVF of so-called “personhood” initiatives. As an undergraduate student of Robert Frost at Amherst College, he was fond of reciting his poetry, including one particular poem and a stanza that has always stood out:

“…Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

Robert Frost, 1916

Dr. Jones received his BA degree from Amherst College, his MD degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and honorary degrees from the University of Cordoba, Old Dominion University, Amherst College, the University of Madrid, and Eastern Virginia Medical School. He was the recipient of the Medal of the College of France, the Distinguished Service Award of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and was an honorary member of over 20 foreign scientific societies, including the Fellowship ad eundem of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Scientists from Europe, Africa, Australia, Asia, and South America traveled to the Jones Institute to learn from Drs. Howard and Georgeanna Jones and their colleagues, and many of today’s leaders in IVF were mentored there.

Throughout his remarkable career, Dr. Jones was instrumental not only in exploring cutting edge medical developments, but in recognizing the need for and developing ethical standards for the assisted reproductive technologies. He created and held key positions in advancing those standards, and was committed to interdisciplinary dialogue and efforts to advance those standards. His legacy as a medical pioneer and an ethical visionary continues today.

For myself, having had the “less traveled” privilege of knowing and working with Dr. Howard, it has, indeed, made all the difference. I hope Jones Rounds will give future ART professionals a small opportunity to share in that remarkable legacy.


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