Teresa Woodruff

Teresa K. Woodruff is Thomas J. Watkins Memorial Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, and the executive director of the Institute for Women’s Health Research, as well as the chief of the division of fertility preservation, all at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. She was appointed professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology in 2005 and professor of neurobiology and physiology in 2004. She also directs Northwestern's Center for Reproductive Research.

Dr. Woodruff studies the regulation of the ovarian follicle by peptide hormones. The major goals are to identify the mechanisms underlying ovarian follicle development, selection, and recruitment to understand better the endocrine and paracrine control of the reproductive axis, and to provide new angles on ovarian disease and fertility conserving options for women. She has also developed a team of oncologists and fertility specialists to translate this work to women who will lose their fertility due to cancer treatment, and she has coined the term "oncofertility" to describe this work.

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More people than ever before are surviving cancer due to modern breakthroughs in medical science. From 1991 to 2004 cancer death rates decreased by more than 13%. Among children, for whom cancer is the second leading cause of death, mortality rates have decreased by nearly 50% since 1975. As these cancer survivors return to the normal course of their lives, many will want to become first-time parents or have additional biological children.