Beatriz Penalver Bernabe is a Ph.D. graduate student in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Northwestern University. She is a member of Dr. Lonnie Shea's and Dr. Linda Broadbelt’s research groups, and she has been collaborating with the Woodruff Laboratory and the Oncofertility Consortium since she joined the program. Beatriz recieved her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Murcia, Spain and her Masters in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachussets, Amherst. She is very interesting in understanding Signaling Pathways in Cells through modelling, specially Folliculogenesis and Breast Cancer Developme
Marilia joined the Woodruff Lab in July 2010. She graduated in Biology from University of Coimbra, Portugal. After earning her Masters Degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology, she was selected to enroll in the Doctoral Program in Experimental Biology and Biomedicine (BEB), organized by the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (CNC), University of Coimbra, Portugal (http://beb.cnbc.pt/default.asp). She is currently studying the dynamics of the ovary, particularly the mechanisms controlling follicular movement.
Barbara joined the lab in March 2006 as the U54 program coordinator. She is responsible for the administration of all facets of the Center for Reproductive Research. Prior to this, she worked at Evansont Northwestern Healthcare as a Research Coordinator and Practice Manager in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery.
Francesca Duncan joined the Woodruff Lab as a post-doctoral fellow in October 2009. She received her PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006. Her dissertation focused on understanding how polarity is generated during meiosis in the mouse egg. During a short post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, Francesca developed a mouse model of Preimplantation Genetic Testing to determine the effect of the blastomere biopsy procedure on global patterns of gene expression in the resulting blastocysts. She also used live-cell imaging techniques to compare meiosis in oocytes from young and old mice to dissect the molecular mechanisms contributing to the maternal age-associated increase in aneuploidy in mouse eggs. Francesca is driven by translational research that has direct clinical applications, so she is excited to join Team Follicle in the endeavor to obtain healthy, fertilizable eggs by culturing follicles of various stages in three-dimensional alginate-based matrices. She is also excited to contribute to myoncofertility.org and to participate in teaching at the Oncofertility Saturday Academy.
Jessica joined the Woodruff Lab as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in September 2009. She received her Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology from the University of Notre Dame in July 2009. Her doctoral thesis focused on mitotic spindle assembly, in particular the role of both centrosomes and microtubule dynamics. Jessica is hoping to merge new and old interests by looking at mitotic spindle assembly in the context of granulosa cells in growing follicles. Jessica is supported by a fellowship on the Oncogenesis and Developmental Biology training grant. When not working hard in the lab, Jessica spends her time with husband and her 2 year old daughter.
So-Youn joined the woodruff lab as a postdoc in July 2008. She earned her Ph.D. from Yonsei University of Korea in 2005, working on the molecular function of SREBP-1c in glucose metabolism. She is now working on the activin pathway in the pituitary and ovary.
Betty is a graduate student in the MD/PhD program at Northwestern. She graduated from Rutgers University in New Jersey with a B.A. in Molecular biology and biochemistry. She is currently studying transition metal regulation during follicle development and oocyte maturation.
Monica joined the Woodruff Lab in February 2013. She earned her Ph.D. from Northwestern University in the Lab of Dean J. Larry Jameson in 2011. Her doctoral thesis focused on spermatogonial stem cell renewal and differentiation. During her first postdoc in Takeshi Kurita's Lab, Monica identified a mechanism for developmental vaginal epithelium differentiation and how this is disrupted with prenatal exposure to diethylstilbistrol. Monica is now studying the ovarian follicle niche in an effort to create an artificial ovary utilizing human iPSCs and a natural-synthetic hybrid scaffold.