Joe Leigh Simpson, MD received his undergraduate and medical education at Duke University (MD, 1968), and postgraduate training at Cornell University Medical College (New York City). Previous positions have been at Northwestern University, University of Tennessee Memphis, and Baylor College of Medicine. He is certified in medical genetics as well as in obstetrics and gynecology. He is currently Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University. He is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Professor of Human and Molecular Genetics.
Dr. Simpson has played leadership roles in ACOG and many other professional organizations. He has been President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, International Society of Prenatal Diagnosis, the Society for Gynecologic Investigation, American College of Medical Genetics (2007-09) and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis International Society (2006-09). He is President-Elect of the International Federation of Fertility Societies, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine (IOM). He has served in many advisory roles for NICHD and for the March of Dimes.
Dr. Simpson has written 15 major books and over 700 articles and chapters. These included 5 editions of Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies (with Steven Gabbe and Jennifer Niebyl) and 3 editions of Genetics in Obstetrics and Gynecology. He remains active in many areas of genetic prenatal diagnosis and reproductive genetics. He has long been involved in prenatal genetic diagnosis, developing guidelines and helping codify standards for genetic counseling. He is active in newer aspects such as preimplantation genetic diagnosis, and recovering cell free DNA and fetal cells from maternal blood. In 1991 his group was the first to detect fetal trisomy in maternal blood, recovering fetal erythroblasts by flow cytometry. He was involved in the NIH-collaborative project on recovering fetal cells (1994-2004) and since has continued efforts in order to facilitate clinical application.