Advisory Board

Dr. Deborah J. Anderson

The AP article As a contraceptive, Coke is it said

Deborah Anderson had heard the urban myths about the contraceptive effectiveness of Coca-Cola for years. So she and her colleagues decided to put the soft drink to the test. In the lab, that is.
For discovering that Coke was a spermicide, Professor Anderson and her team are among this year’s winners of the Ig Nobel prize, the award given by the Annals of Improbable Research magazine to oddball but often practical scientific achievements.
Professor Anderson, who works in obstetrics and gynecology at Boston University’s School of Medicine, found that Diet Coke worked best.
“We’re thrilled to win an Ig Nobel, because the study was somewhat of a parody in the first place,” she said, adding she would not recommend using Coke for birth control.

Deborah J. Anderson, Ph.D. is Professor of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Microbiology, Boston University School of Medicine, and Lecturer in Medicine, Harvard Medical School.
Her research program addresses immunologic aspects of human reproductive health, and has contributed to advances in understanding immunological mechanisms underlying male and female infertility, recurrent miscarriage, preeclampsia, gynecologic oncology, and the sexual and vertical transmission of HIV-1.
Deborah’s current research is focused on the development of vaccines and topical microbicides for the control of sexually-transmitted pathogens including HIV-1. Towards this end, she is studying mechanisms of cell-associated HIV transmission and fundamental features of local immune defense functions at genital mucosal surfaces that affect HIV-1 pathogenesis and transmission.
She coauthored Response to Neisseria gonorrhoeae by Cervicovaginal Epithelial Cells Occurs in the Absence of Toll-Like Receptor 4-Mediated Signaling, Differential Expression of Immunobiological Mediators by Immortalized Human Cervical and Vaginal Epithelial Cells, T-helper 1-type immunity to trophoblast in women with recurrent spontaneous abortion, T Lymphocytes and Macrophages, but Not Motile Spermatozoa, Are a Significant Source of Human Immunodeficiency Virus in Semen, and The Molecular Basis of Nonoxynol-9—Induced Vaginal Inflammation and Its Possible Relevance to Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Transmission. She holds patent Complement components and binding ligands in fertility.
Deborah earned her B.A. at Rice University in 1971 and her Ph.D. at the University of Texas-GSBS in 1976. She was a Postdoc at Oregon Health Sciences Center from 1976–1980 and at Harvard Medical School from 1980–1982.