VINCENT FELLOWS IN REPRODUCTIVE ENDOCRINOLOGY AND INFERTILITY


Solving Infertility

The goal of experts in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility is to turn patients into parents. The Vincent Department of OB/GYN has one of the highest success rates in helping couples have children including offering in vitro fertilization (IVF) technologies for more than 25 years. During their research year, Vincent fellows are exploring ways to improve fertility for a wide range of patient conditions.

Can We Protect the Ovaries During Chemotherapy?

Can We Protect the Ovaries During Chemotherapy?

Jennifer Hsu, MD, a fellow in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, is studying a protein called anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), which inhibits the development of ovarian follicles. AMH is normally produced by the ovaries of reproductive-age women to prevent the over-recruitment of egg follicles. Levels of AMH are often measured by infertility specialists to estimate a woman’s ovarian reserve of follicles. Research in mice shows that arresting follicular development with AMH can protect the ovarian reserve from chemotherapy, and that folliculogenesis can be resumed, and even enhanced, afterwards. These findings may lead to treatments that preserve the fertility of cancer patients during chemotherapy, can be applied to contraception, and adapted to improve assisted-reproductive technology, including in vitro fertilization.

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Do Phenols Found in Ovarian Follicular Fluid Affect Fertility?

Do Phenols Found in Ovarian Follicular Fluid Affect Fertility?

Irene Dimitriadis, MD, a Vincent fellow in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, is studying the effect of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on reproductive health. These chemicals can mimic or antagonize the action of hormones, leading to potential adverse effects on fertility. Exposure to phenols — a family of EDCs found in plastics, cosmetics, pharmaceutical products and even used as food preservatives — is widespread and can occur through ingestion, inhalation and dermal absorption. In the first study of this size, she is investigating the levels of phenols in ovarian follicular fluid and the possible effects on fertility and assisted reproductive technology outcomes, with the hope that this work will lead to modifiable ways to improve fertility.

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What Cells Drive the Growth of Fibroids?

What Cells Drive the Growth of Fibroids?

Amy Lee, MD, a Vincent fellow in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, is studying cell pathways that produce uterine fibroids, smooth-muscle benign tumors present in up to 80 percent of adult women. Approximately 20 percent of women with fibroids experience heavy or irregular periods, pelvic pain or pressure, infertility and adverse pregnancy outcomes. She is working to find ways to interrupt the cell signals that drive these growths, with the goal of developing a drug therapy that targets fibroids while preserving the uterus for future pregnancy.

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