Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, 2007
B.S., University of Arizona, 2001
Area(s) of Expertise
Reproductive Biology, Stem Cell Biology, Regenerative Medicine, Aging
My laboratory focuses on mammalian female reproductive biology, with an emphasis on discovery and development of new strategies to delay or prevent ovarian failure caused by aging or insults. Function of the ovaries fails relatively early in the chronological lifespan of women, and with this failure comes a spectrum of aging-related health concerns ranging from hot-flashes and short term memory loss, to osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, cognitive disorders (Alzheimer’s) and cancer. Thus, strategies aimed at delaying or preventing ovarian failure have major implications for women’s health. In order to preserve or restore ovarian function, multiple cell lineages, including germline and soma, must be accounted for. Our current areas of investigation include the targeted specification of multiple ovarian cell lineages from stem cells, evaluation of the interaction between the ovarian soma and the germline in adult ovaries, determination of the relative contributions of the germline and soma to normal and premature ovarian failure, and the bioengineering of an ‘artificial’ ovary for ex vivo generation of functional eggs from stem cells.
211 C Mugar Life Sciences
Leah Simmons thought she knew exactly what she wanted, until she didn’t. But she was able to figure out her way through co-ops and research opportunities.