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Northwestern receives $5.65 million for reproductive research

EVANSTON, Ill. Northwestern University has received $5.65 million over five years from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to establish the multidisciplinary Center for Reproductive Research (CRR) at Northwestern.

The center seeks innovative answers to female infertility problems by bridging the areas of reproductive physiology, structural biology and cancer research.

Center scientists will work closely with physician researchers at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern with the eventual goal of transferring basic biological research findings to clinical care and medicine. By gaining a more complete understanding of the hormones, receptors and signaling molecules that are important to female reproduction, the researchers hope to learn more about diseases associated with reproductive function.

Reproductive health is intimately tied to the overall health of women, said Teresa K. Woodruff, center director and associate professor of neurobiology and physiology. Our research focuses on ovarian function and uses novel approaches, such as developing synthetic scaffolds, investigating molecular machines and using crystal structures, to begin unraveling key events associated with reproductive function.

The center brings together cancer researchers, endocrinologists and gynecologists from the Feinberg School; reproductive scientists and molecular and structural biologists from the Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences; and chemical and biomedical engineers from the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, among others.

Three major projects are under way. One could lead to the creation of egg or oocyte banks, which would allow women undergoing chemotherapy to preserve their reproductive potential. Mature eggs that are frozen cannot be used for infertility treatments because they are destroyed in the freez
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Contact: Megan Fellman
fellman@northwestern.edu
847-491-3115
Northwestern University
7-Apr-2003


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