Laboratory Director, Monica Laronda, PhD
Monica M. Laronda, PhD, received her undergraduate degree from Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. She earned her PhD in Life Sciences in the laboratory of J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD in Northwestern University’s Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, while studying the role of Sox3 (sex-determining region-Y box gene 3) on spermatogonial differentiation. Her first postdoctoral appointment with Takeshi Kurita, in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern, provided an outlet to explore how undifferentiated epithelium received cues from adjacent mesenchymal layers, and how this could be disrupted during neonatal exposure to synthetic estrogens. Her second postdoctoral appointment was under the guidance of Teresa K Woodruff, PhD where she investigated the extracellular matrix (ECM) compartments within the ovary, how these affect the growth and viability of isolated granulosa cells and ovarian follicles and how to use natural ECM or biomimetic scaffolds to create an engineered ovary. Under Dr. Woodruff’s mentorship, Dr. Laronda has received several internal grants, including one from the John and Lillian Mathews Regenerative Medicine Endowment Fund to develop induced pluripotent stem cell differentiation protocols within the NMH Good Manufacturing Practice facility. She has also worked within the Oncofertility Consortium, under the direction of Dr. Woodruff, to develop clinical-grade ovarian tissue preservation kits.
Dr. Laronda was awarded the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface for her work in the Woodruff Lab on developing an engineered ovary using 3D printing in collaboration with Ramille Shah, PhD, Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
Dr. Laronda was recruited by the Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago to contribute to the Fertility and Hormone Preservation and Restoration Program that bridges basic science, translational research and clinical practice. She started her appointment in the Department of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology on August 2016 as a Warren and Eloise Batts Scholar.
More information about Dr. Laronda and her research can be found at the following links:
Research Lab Manager, Kelly Whelan
Kelly Whelan received her undergraduate degree from University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 2012, she joined the laboratory of Dr. Teresa Woodruff at Northwestern University, in the Feinberg School of Medicine, where she started as an entry level technologist and grew to become the Lab Manager. She worked on follicle isolation and culture using murine animal models in the Oncofertility field (fertility preservation methods in oncology patients). In 2016, she transferred to the Laronda Lab as the Research Lab Manager studying hormone restoration and preservation in pediatric patients using iPSCs and porcine animal models.
To contact Kelly, please email her at email@example.com