Engineering an artificial ovary to restore fertility and endocrine function in cancer survivors

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

Nearly 160,000 Americans aged 0-45 years are diagnosed with cancer each year. The use of diagnostic tools and antineoplastic medications has led to an impressive increase in cancer remission in this age group. However, young cancer survivors experience sterility and endocrine insufficiency as stubborn consequences of disease treatment. Females who are not eligible for ovarian stimulation cycles could undergo ovarian tissue removal and transplant. However, there is a risk of reintroducing cancer cells from the transplants in survivors who had blood cancers or metastatic disease. The scientific goal of this proposal is to develop an artificial ovary of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived steroid-producing cells in a 3D-printed scaffold with ovarian extracellular matrix (ECM), theoretically eliminating the possibility of cancer transmission while restoring long-term endocrine and reproductive function. An equally important goal is to establish myself as an ovarian and stem cell biologist with a strong understanding of bioengineering, and a project that encompasses each discipline as I develop my independent research lab.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date7/1/156/30/20

Funding

  • Burroughs Wellcome Fund (AGMT 1014568)

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