Acting Head, Center for Species Survival
D.V.M., Kasetsart University, Thailand, M.S., Ph.D., University of Guelph, Canada
Dr. Nucharin Songsasen is a research biologist at Center for Species Survival at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI). She joined SCBI in 2002 to study reproductive biology of domestic and wild carnivores. Since then, Songsasenhas led the Global Canid Conservation program and expanded this conservation and research initiative from laboratory setting to field conservation in many range countries, including Brazil, Thailand, and Myanmar.
Songsasen is a leading expert in the field of canid reproductive biology. Research conducted in her laboratory focuses on developing innovative technologies to grow dog and cat ovarian follicles in vitro as models for rescuing valuable genetics from wild canids and felids. In addition to reproductive research, Songsasen also collaborates with many SCBI scientists to address many threats to the sustainability of wild canids living in zoos or the wild.
Songsasen received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Kasetsart University in Thailand. She's also earned a Master of Science and doctoral degree from the University of Guelph in Canada under the supervision of a world renowned cryobiologist, Dr. Stanley Leibo. During this time, Songsasen produced the world first lambs from cryopreserved embryos produced by in vitro fertilization. She also pioneered the field of mouse sperm cryopreservation, a cell type that was very difficult to cryopreserve at that time. She was also part of the team that discovered chilling sensitivity in bovine oocytes, a finding that has revolutionized how we freeze mammalian eggs today.
Songsasen has established partnerships with several national and international government and non-governmental organizations. She currently supervise several post-doctoral fellows and graduate students. She has adjunct appointments at the University of Maryland, Cornell University and George Mason University. She is also a member of the IUCN’s Canid Specialist Group (CSG), the coordinator of CSG’s Dhole Working Group and the Maned wolf Species Survival Plan (MWSSP) as well as reproductive advisor to the Canid Taxon Advisory Group.
Chansaenroj, A., Songsasen, Nucharin and Chatdarong, K. 2019. Equine chorionic gonadotropin induces in vitro follicular growth from the multi-layered secondary developmental stage in cats. Theriogenology, 116-122. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2018.09.040
Brown, Megan E., Singh, Ram P., Pukazhenthi, Budhan, Keefer, Carol L. and Songsasen, Nucharin. 2018. Cryopreservation effects on sperm function and fertility in two threatened crane species. Cryobiology, 148-154. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cryobiol.2018.01.010
Fujihara, Mayako, Yamamizu, Kohei, Comizzoli, Pierre, Wildt, David E. and Songsasen, Nucharin. 2018. Retinoic acid promotes in vitro follicle activation in the cat ovary by regulating expression of matrix metalloproteinase 9. Plos One, 1-14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0202759