In Appreciation of Celso-Ramon Garcia, M.D

Winnifred Cutler, Ph.D. bids farewell to her mentor and coauthor, Celso-Ramon Garcia, M.D


My former mentor, Celso-Ramon Garcia, M.D., died February 1, 2004 at the age of 82. The many obituaries printed chronicle his important role, eary in his career, clinically investigating the first oral contraceptive, the Pill. Dr. Garcia was a peerless surgeon and an incisive intellect. His impact on women’s reproductive health was historic; his impact on my path as a scientist profound. We were coauthors on many research papers and 3 books.

In Menopause: A Guide for Women and the Men who Love them (revised edition), the preface states:

“By 1975, Winnifred Cutler, then a graduate student in biology at the University of Pennsylvania, had completed an intriguing pilot study: it showed possible and striking relationships between the pattern of sexual behavior of young women and their pattern of menstruation. Since she needed a mentor, her faculty in biology advised her to find a professor in gynecology to supervise her studies. Dr. Celso-Ramon Garcia, Professor of gynecology, one of the “fathers” of the oral contraceptive, a scholar and an educator, was interested in the pilot work and agreed to become involved in its development.

Throughout a seven-year tutelage, Dr. Garcia helped Dr. Cutler locate the classic, often-forgotten works that had laid the foundation for the development of modern reproductive endocrinology. He listened to her ideas and provided critical feedback that helped to direct and enhance the growth of her work.”


In my book, Love Cycles: The Science of Intimacy, I wrote:

“ I would like to acknowledge and thank individuals who directly contributed to Love Cycles. First, Celso-Ramon Garcia, M.D, Professor of gynecology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, for his many years as able mentor and critic. He read the entire manuscript critically. I thank him for intellectually interacting with uncompromising rigor to my early ideas and contributing those of his own.”

My collaboration with Dr. Garcia spanned many years and produced, hopefully, many valuable contributions to women’s health research. In 1986, Dr. Garcia and I co-founded the interdisciplinary Women's Wellness Program at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Not many superior role models can be found, in my opinion, if you are passionate in the rigorous pursuit of scientific truth ----the kind that is not diluted for political reasons; the kind that you publish knowing full well it may antagonize segments of the established medical community.

I suspect the fields of obstetrics, gynecology and endocrinology will not often see the likes of Celso-Ramon Garcia.

Winnifred Cutler, February 2004

A list of some of our collaborative peer-reviewed publications:

1. Cutler WB, Garcia CR, Krieger AM. Infertility and Age at First Coitus: A Possible Association. J. Biosoc Sci 11:425-432, 1979.

2. Cutler WB, Garcia CR, Krieger AM. Sexual Behavior Frequency and Menstrual Cycle Length in Mature Premenopausal Women. Psychoneuroendocrinology 4: 297-309, 1979.

3. Cutler WB, Garcia CR, Krieger AM. Luteal Phase Defects: A Possible Relationship Between Short Hyperthermic Phase and Sporadic Sexual Behavior and Menstrual Cycle Length in Women. Hormones and Behavior 13:; 214-218, 1979.

4. Cutler WB, Garcia CR, Krieger AM. Sporadic Sexual Behavior and Menstrual Cycle Length in Women. Hormones and Behavior 14: 163-172, 1980.

5. Cutler WB and Garcia CR. The Psychoneuroendocrinology of the Ovulatory Cycle of Women. Psychoneuroendocrinology 5(2): 89-111, 1980.

9. Garcia CR and Cutler WB. Preservation of the Ovary: A Reevaluation. Fertil Steril 42: 510-514, 1984.

11. Cutler WB, Preti G, Huggins G, Erickson B, Garcia CR. Sexual Behavior Frequency and Fertile-type Menstrual Cycle. Physiology and Behavior 34: 805-810, 1985.

12. Cutler WB, Garcia CR, Huggins GR, Preti G. Sexual Behavior and Steroid Levels Among Gynecologically Mature Premenopausal Women. Fertil Steril 45(4):496-502, 1986.

13. Garcia CR and Cutler WB. Reply to Drs. DeCherney and Schwartz (in response to an ongoing debate regarding our paper "Preservation of the Ovary: A Reevaluation). Fertil Steril 45(5): 738-741, 1986.

14. Cutler WB, Garcia CR, McCoy N. Perimenopausal Sexuality. Archives of Sex Behavior: 16:3:225-234.1987.

15. Cutler WB, Preti G, Krieger A, Huggins GR, Garcia CR, Lawley RJ(1986) Human Axillary Secretions Influence Women's Menstrual Cycles: The Role of Donor Extract from Men. Hormones and Behavior 20:474-482.

16. Preti G, Cutler WB, Krieger A, Huggins GR, Garcia CR, Lawley R (1986) Human Axillary Secretions Influence Women's Menstrual Cycles: The Role of Donor Extract from Women. Hormones and Behavior 20:463-473.