The Center for Reproductive Research at Northwestern University (completed)

The Center for Reproductive Research (CRR) at Northwestern University supports a multidisciplinary group of scientists who use innovative approaches to expand the understanding of female fertility and infertility. The purpose of our center is to shed light on the structure-function relationships between cells in the ovary and the hormones that regulate follicle development. Our primary objectives are as follows:

  • To conduct and support reproductive research at the interface of biochemisty, biophysics, reproductive science, structure biology, and biomaterial science.
  • To translate the findings of this research to women with infertility.
  • To communicate research findings in an authoritative manner to the community.
  • To develop and conduct reproductive science education programs to train the next train the next generation of reproductive scientists and clinical investigators.

Since it was originally funded as a Specialized Cooperative Center Program in Reproduction and Infertility Research (SCCPIR) in 2003, the Center for Reproductive Research has made significant achievements.  We brought a new kind of fertility option to women with a fertility-threatening cancer diagnosis, which is now being offered around the globe.  We also coined the term oncofertility and edited the first two books on this interdisciplinary topic.

In our current research, we are taking advantage of our multi-disciplinary approach and expanding our scope to assess structure-function relationships associated with polycystic ovary syndrome. By combining basic biochemical, biomaterial, and biophysical approaches with medicine and by now expanding our work to include radiological approaches to the study of female infertility, we remain at the forefront of new discoveries in the structure-function relationships of reproductive biology.  Moreover, each of our projects reaffirms our commitment to translate our findings to the bedside, and thereby contribute to the overall health of women.

Message from the Director:

The Center for Reproductive Research at Northwestern University is a unique endeavor.  Through a blend of disciplines, we tackle a wide variety of challenges to female fertility, in the hopes that our work in the laboratory can translate quickly into care for the patient.  By examining the structure-function relationships that govern follicle development, we aim to provide hope to women who face threats to their fertility.

-Teresa K. Woodruff, PhD


 This work was supported by the NIH, Award Number U54 HD041857 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development.