San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Dr. Woodruff is an internationally recognized expert in ovarian biology. During her graduate work at Northwestern, she cloned and characterized inhibin and activin, the two most powerful gonadal peptide hormones of the reproductive axis, and solved the structure of the ligands with receptors and regulating proteins. At the time, the inability to mature the ovarian follicle in vitro was a major gap in reproductive science. A highly collaborative effort resulted in the development of a hydrogel ovary, a 3-dimensional support system that provides the critical bio-integrity for the follicle and its enclosed maturing oocyte. Live births in mice resulted from these studies and this result was named the most important breakthrough of the decade 1998-2008 by Nature Medicine. Dr. Woodruff coined the term ‘oncofertility’ to describe the application of this work toward the fertility needs of young cancer patients.