Teresa K. Woodruff Thomas J. Watkins Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Molecular Biosciences

Research Interests

Regulation of Ovarian Follicle Growth

We are working in three main areas. The first is ovarian follicle development: the study of the formation and maturation of the ovarian follicle, which is the basic functional unit of the ovary. The follicle includes somatic cells (which make hormones like estrogen and inhibin) and the oocyte (or egg). We are attempting to isolate the factors that regulate follicle and oocyte maturation and to understand the mechanisms of follicle and oocyte survival and death. The second focus of the Woodruff Lab is to develop an in vitro follicle culture system that can mimic the normal in vivo patterns of follicle development. The end goal of this research is to allow us to successfully remove healthy ovarian tissue from a cancer patient, safely store it until the patient has completed their treatment, and then to either harvest follicles from the tissue in an effort to grow them, or surgically transplant the tissue to restore natural ovulation. Our third area of study is on the endocrine hormones inhibin and activin, which govern the reproductive cycle. Work on these hormones is essential to an understanding of healthy reproductive cyclicity and on the treatment of infertility.

Selected Publications

A bioprosthetic ovary created using 3D printed microporous scaffolds restores ovarian function in sterilized mice. Laronda MM, Rutz AL, Xiao S, Whelan KA, Duncan FE, Roth EW, Woodruff TK, and Shah RN. Nature Communications. 2017 May 16;8:15261.

A microfluidic culture model of the human reproductive tract and 28-day menstrual cycle. Xiao S, Coppeta JR, Rogers HB, Isenberg BC, Zhu J, Olalekan SA, McKinnon KE, Kokic D, Rashedi AS, Haisenleder DJ, Malpani SS, Arnold-Murray CA, Chen K, Jiang M, Bai L, Nguyen CT, Zhang J, Laronda MM, Hope TJ, Maniar KP, Pavone ME, Avram MJ, Sefton EC, Getsios S, Burdette JE, Kim JJ, Borenstein JT, and Woodruff TK. Nature Communications. 2017 March 28;8:14584.

The zinc spark is an inorganic signature of human egg activation. Duncan FE, Que EL, Zhang N, Feinberg EC, O'Halloran TV, and Woodruff TK. Scientific Reports. 2016 April 26;6:24737.

Preservation of Fertility in Patients with Cancer. Jeruss JS and Woodruff TK. New England Journal of Medicine. 2009 February 26;360(9):902-911.

Rat Inhibin: Molecular Cloning of α- and β-Subunit Complementary Deoxyribonucleic Acids and Expression in the Ovary. Woodruff TK, Meunier H, Jones PBC, Hsueh AJW, and Mayo KE. Molecular Endocrinology. 1987 August 1;1(8):561-568.

View all publications by Teresa K. Woodruff listed in the National Library of Medicine (PubMed). Current and former IBiS students in blue.