Teresa K. Woodruff
Director, Women’s Health Research Institute
Chief, Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology-Fertility Preservation
Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology-Fertility Preservation, McCormick School of Engineering and Medicine-Endocrinology
Woodruff’s role in understanding inhibin fluctuation in the ovary led to questions about ovarian follicle formation and persistence, which provides new ways to think about fertility preservation for young women with fertility-threatening conditions (NEJM, 2009). She examined the regulation of follicle function in vitro and established a collaboration with a biomaterial scientist, Lonnie Shea, to develop a 3-dimensional support system that would provide the necessary bio-integrity for follicle growth (Tissue Eng. 9:1013, 2003; News and Views in Nat. Med. 14:1178, 2008 and Nat. Med. 14:1182). These studies have been very productive and the current culture system supports live births of mice. The system is being adopted to non-human primate and human ovarian follicles. She coined the term oncofertility to describe this work. Finally, she has used physiological studies together with mathematical modeling to explore the kinetics of follicle formation and persistence in the mouse (Dev. Biol. 298:149 and Dev. Biol. 298:132). These studies reveal the necessary and sufficient nature of the initial follicle pool established in the ovary during the time of development (Nature Med, 14:1190, 2008). Hallmarks of Woodruff career have included a strong focus on ovarian biology, on interdisciplinary approaches to problems, and application of the overall health of women.
Duncan FE, Hornick JE, Lampson MA, Schultz RM, Shea LD, Woodruff TK "Chromosome cohesion decreases in human eggs with advanced maternal age." Aging Cell, 2012, 11(6) p. 1121-4.
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