Faculty Directory
Teresa Woodruff

Thomas J. Watkins Memorial Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Director, Women’s Health Research Institute

Chief, Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology-Fertility Preservation

Professor of Biomedical Engineering


Robert H Lurie Medical Research Center Room 10-119
303 E Superior
Chicago, IL 60611

213-503-2503Email Teresa Woodruff


Woodruff Lab


Biomedical Engineering


PhD: Northwestern University (1989) 
Fellowship: Genetech, Inc. (1991)

Research Interests

Woodruff’s role in understanding inhibin fluctuation in the ovary led to questions about ovarian follicle formation and persistence, which provides new ways to think about fertility preservation for young women with fertility-threatening conditions (NEJM, 2009). She examined the regulation of follicle function in vitro and established a collaboration with a biomaterial scientist, Lonnie Shea, to develop a 3-dimensional support system that would provide the necessary bio-integrity for follicle growth (Tissue Eng. 9:1013, 2003; News and Views in Nat. Med. 14:1178, 2008 and Nat. Med. 14:1182). These studies have been very productive and the current culture system supports live births of mice. The system is being adopted to non-human primate and human ovarian follicles. She coined the term oncofertility to describe this work. Finally, she has used physiological studies together with mathematical modeling to explore the kinetics of follicle formation and persistence in the mouse (Dev. Biol. 298:149 and Dev. Biol. 298:132). These studies reveal the necessary and sufficient nature of the initial follicle pool established in the ovary during the time of development (Nature Med, 14:1190, 2008). Hallmarks of Woodruff career have included a strong focus on ovarian biology, on interdisciplinary approaches to problems, and application of the overall health of women.

Selected Publications

Alignment of low-dose X-ray fluorescence tomography images using differential phase contrast
Hong YP, Gleber S-C, O'Halloran TV, Que EL, Bleher R, Vogt S, Woodruff TK, Jacobsen C.
Journal of Synchrotron Radiation. 2014 Jan;21(1):229-234.doi:10.1107/S1600577513029512.
ISSN: 09090495

Recreating the female reproductive tract in vitro using iPSC technology in a linked microfluidics environment
Laronda MM, Burdette JE, Kim JJ, Woodruff TK.
Stem Cell Research and Therapy. 2013 Dec 20;4(SUPPL.1):doi:10.1186/scrt374.
ISSN: 17576512

Involvement of androgens in ovarian health and disease
Lebbe M, Woodruff TK.
Molecular Human Reproduction. 2013 Dec;19(12):828-837.doi:10.1093/molehr/gat065.
PMID: 24026057 ISSN: 13609947

Supplemented αMEM/F12-based medium enables the survival and growth of primary ovarian follicles encapsulated in alginate hydrogels
Tagler D, Makanji Y, Anderson NR, Woodruff TK, Shea LD.
Biotechnology and Bioengineering. 2013 Dec;110(12):3258-3268.doi:10.1002/bit.24986.
PMID: 23801027 ISSN: 00063592

View all publications

Selected Books and Book Chapters

Woodruff TK, Snyder KA, editors. 2007. Oncofertility. Chicago: Springer

Lin L, Woodruff TK, Acherman JC. Gonads, Gonadotropic Axis: Physiology & Diseases. In: Carel JC, Hochberg Z, editors. 2004. Yearbook in Pediatric Endocrinology. Basel, Switzerland: Karger

Lin L, Woodruff TK, Acherman JC. Reproductive Endocrinology. In: Carel J-C, Hochberg Z, editors. 2004. Yearbook in Pediatric Endocrinology. Basel, Switzerland: Karger

Chapman SC, Kenny HA, Woodruff TK. Activin, Inhibin, and follistatin in ovarian physiology. In: Leung PCK, Adashi EY, editors. 2003. The Ovary. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier 273-287.