Joe Leigh Simpson

Joe Leigh Simpson


Office: AHC2 693

Phone: 305-348-0570


Joe Leigh Simpson, M.D., FACOG, FACMG, FRCOG, received his undergraduate and medical education at Duke University (M.D., 1968) and post graduate training at Cornell University Medical College (New York City). Academic positions have included: Professor at Northwestern University (1975-1986), Professor and Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Tennessee Memphis (1986-1994), Professor and Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine (1994-2006), and Professor and Founding Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Florida International University, College of Medicine (2007-2011). He served as Senior Vice President for Research and Global programs, March of Dimes, (MOD) (2012-2018).  He remained Professor of Human and Molecular Genetics/ Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Florida International University throughout time at March of Dimes.

During the time he was on leave of absence from FIU, Dr. Simpson oversaw the MOD programs for conference support and individual investigator proposals. He developed a $60M program involving six prematurity research centers dedicated to discovering the causes of labor and, hence, preterm labor. Each center was chosen for its prowess in a given domain of discovery research and its ability to pursue collaborative investigations with other centers. Major discoveries have been made in genes associated with preterm birth, microbiome, fetal gene expression patterns during gestation, gene regulation and uterine pace-marker functions.

Dr. Simpson has contributed to many aspects of reproductive genetics, prenatal genetic diagnosis and birth defects. He is certified in Medical Genetics as well as in Obstetrics and Gynecology. He has written over 800 articles and chapters. His major books include seven editions as co-editor of Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies and three editions for Genetics in Obstetrics and Gynecology. He has received research funding from NICHD, March of Dimes, USAID, and the Department of Defense.

Dr. Simpson has served in leadership roles for numerous grant review panels, prestigious national and international committees and many professional organizations. He has been President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, International Society of Prenatal Diagnosis, and Society for Gynecologic Investigation, American College of Medical Genetics, and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis International Society. He has been a member of the National Academy of Medicine, U.S. National Academy of Sciences since 1994.

He is active in many global initiations, especially in organizations in official relations with World Health Organization. As immediate Past President of the International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS), Dr. Simpson is Chair of the Scientific Committee for the 23rd IFFS World Congress (Shanghai, April 11-14, 2019)

Recent Publications   

  1. Wise P, Shaw GM, Druzin ML, Darmstadt GL, Cuaintance CC, Relman DA, Quake SR, Butte AJ, Angst MS, Muglia LJ, Macones G, Driscoll D, Ober C, Simpson JL, Katz M, Howse J, Stevenson DK, Makinen E. Risky Business: Meeting the Structural Needs of Transdisciplinary Science. Journal of Pediatrics, pp.1-14, 2017 
  2. Simpson JL, Rechitsky S. Preimplantation diagnosis and other modern methods for prenatal diagnosis. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol, 165 (PtA): 124-130, 2017
  3. Ferrero DM, Larson J, Jacobsson B, Di Renzo GC, Norman JE, Martin Jr JN , D’Alton M, Castelazo E, Howson CP, Sengpiel V, Bottai M, Mayo JA, Shaw GM, Verdenik I, Tul N, Velebil P, Cairns-Smith S, Rushwan H, Arulkumaran S, Howse JL, Simpson JL. Cross-Country Individual Participant Analysis of 4.1 Million Singleton Births in 5 Countries with Very High Human Development Index Confirms Known Associations but Provides No Biologic Explanation for 2/3 of All Preterm Births. PLoS One. 11(9):e0162506, 2016
  4. Myron G, Simpson JL, de la Chapelle, A. The Olympic games and athletic sex assignment. JAMA, 316:1359-1360, 2016
  5. Qin Y, Jiao X., Simpson JL, Chen ZJ. Genetics of primary ovarian insufficiency: new developments in etiology and opportunities. Human Repro Update. 2015; 21(6) 787–808. doi: 10.1093/humupd/dmv036
  6. Ioannou D, Kandukuri L, Simpson JL, Tempest HG. Chromosome territory repositioning induced by PHA-activation of lymphocytes: A 2D and 3D appraisal. Molecular Cytogetics. 2015 Jul 3;8:47. doi:10.1186/s13039-015-0146-3
  7. Liu S, Gao X, Qin Y, Liu W, Huang T, Maj, Simpson JL, et al. Nonsennse mutation of EMX2 is potential causative for uterus didelphysis: first molecular explanation for isolated incomplete müllerian fusion. Fertil Steril. 103: 769-774; 2015
  8. Zhao S, Li G, Dalgleish R, Vujovic S, Jiao X, Li J, Simpson JL, et al. Transcription factor SOHLH1 potentially associated with primary ovarian insufficiency, Fertil Steril. 2015; 103(2): 548–553.
  9. Guo T, Qin Y, Jiao X, Li G, Simpson JL, Chen ZJ.FMR1 premutation is an uncommon explanation for premature ovarian failure in Han Chinese. PLoS One.  9:e103316; 2014
  10. Lackritz E.M, Wilson C.B., Guttmacher A.E., Howse J.L., Engmann C.M., Rubens C.E., Mason E.M.,  Muglia L.J., Gravett M.G., Goldenberg R.L., Murray J.C., Spong C.Y., Simpson J.L., and the Preterm Birth Research Priority Setting Group. A solution pathway for preterm birth: accelerating a priority research agenda. Lancet Global Health, 1:6, e328 - e330; 2013