Renee Reijo Pera, PhD

Dean of ResearchProfessorTouro College of Osteopathic Medicine - Montana
Renee Reijo Pera headshot

Renee Reijo Pera, Ph.D. is our Dean of Research and the CEO of the McLaughlin Research Institute (MRI) in Great Falls, MT. She is also the director of the NIH Center of Excellence on Integrated Biomedical and Rural Health Research. Before relocating to Great Falls, she was Vice President of Research, Economic Development and Graduate Education at the California Polytechnic State University on the central coast of California and at Montana State University in Bozeman. She spent almost 20 years in Silicon Valley at the University of California at San Francisco and Stanford University, where she was the George D. Smith Professor of Regenerative Medicine. Her work has received many awards among them TIME Magazine’s Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs in 2010, Newsweek‘s Twenty Influential Women Leaders in the United States and induction into the National Academy of Inventors. Her work at Stanford was the basis of the co-founding a company, Auxogyn, that later was consolidated to form Progyny, Inc, a member of the NASDAQ exchange. She holds a doctoral degree in biochemistry, molecular and cell biology from Cornell University and is the inventor of more than 10 patented technologies and author of 200 publications. She has taught extensively in obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, genetics, human development and regenerative medicine.


Research focus: the link between early development and disease as we age


  • F Fang, R Usselman, RR Pera. "Aging and neuronal death." Aging (Albany NY) 15 (23), 13579, 2023
  • J Cui, J Carey, RA Reijo Pera. "Identification of DOT1L inhibitor in a screen for factors that promote dopaminergic neuron survival." Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 14, 1026468, 2022
  • L Diao, PJ Turek, CM John, F Fang, RA Reijo Pera. "Roles of spermatogonial stem cells in spermatogenesis and fertility restoration." Frontiers in Endocrinology 13, 895528, 2022
  • N Xia, DE Cabin, F Fang, RA Reijo Pera. "Parkinson’s disease: overview of transcription factor regulation, genetics, and cellular and animal models." Frontiers in Neuroscience 16, 894620, 2022
  • F Fang, PJ Iaquinta, N Xia, L Liu, L Diao, RA Reijo Pera. "Transcriptional control of human gametogenesis." Human Reproduction Update 28 (3), 313-345, 2022
  • J Arand, HR Chiang, D Martin, MP Snyder, J Sage, RA Reijo Pera, .... "Tet enzymes are essential for early embryogenesis and completion of embryonic genome activation." EMBO reports 23 (2), e53968, 2022
  • J Arand, RA Reijo Pera, M Wossidlo. "Reprogramming of DNA methylation is linked to successful human preimplantation development." Histochemistry and Cell Biology 156 (3), 197-207, 2021
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