Fertility & Hormone Preservation & Restoration Research Team Members

Erin E. Rowell, MD


Dr. Rowell is Director of the Fertility & Hormone Preservation & Restoration (FHPR) Program. She is a board-certified pediatric surgeon who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of congenital anomalies and acquired diseases in newborns, infants, children and adolescents. She is a leader in the field of fertility preservation for children and adolescents undergoing treatment or procedures with a high risk of fertility loss. As the Director of the FHPR Program at the Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute (SMCRI) at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (Lurie Children's), Dr. Rowell leads a multidisciplinary team of clinicians dedicated to fertility preservation in children and adolescents. She is an investigative leader of the NIH-sponsored study by the National Physicians Cooperative of the Oncofertility Consortium evaluating ovarian tissue cryopreservation in pre- and post-adolescent girls. Dr. Rowell, an expert in minimally invasive surgery for children of all ages, devotes her research time to the study of the surgical techniques of gonad removal in pediatric patients who are undergoing ovarian and testicular cryopreservation procedures. Dr. Rowell is also committed to the study of ethics in medicine and teaches a course on Surgical Ethics at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine.

Dr. Erin Rowell

Monica M. Laronda, PhD

Director of Basic & Translational Research

This role is to support near and distant future improvements in clinical practice for fertility and hormone preservation and restoration through basic and translational research.

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Dr. Monica Laronda

Christine Stake, DHA

Research Operations Manager

Joined FHPR: 2020

Christine Stake has a Doctorate in Health Care Administration and over 15 years of research experience. Christine’s experience has focused on building research programs and integrating with clinical initiatives. She is passionate about research focusing on outcomes to improve the lives of patients.


Aminata Bangoura, MS

Clinical Research Coordinator III

Joined: June 2018

Aminata Bangoura joined the Fertility Preservation program in June 2018. Prior to joining the FHPR , she was a clinical research coordinator in the Heart Institute at Children’s National Medical Center in DC for the last nine years.   She is passionate about research and the well-being of pediatric patients.


Tara Kennedy

Clinical Research Coordinator I

Joined: Nov. 2020

Tara received her BS from the Health and Sports Science Department at the University of Dayton in 2017. She has a diverse background in the medical field and has eagerly transitioned to the research facet of medicine. Tara helps facilitate the processes between the clinical and laboratory research efforts. She is passionate about the well-being of pediatric patients and is committed to providing the utmost care to this patient population. She is excited to see how the research continues to develop as the program expands to offer more patients fertility preservation options.

Jacquelyn Searcy

Program Coordinator

Joined: 2017

Jackie joined the Division of Pediatric Surgery team at Lurie Children’s Hospital in August of 2013 before joining the FHPR program in November 2017 as the Program Coordinator.  Jackie will serve as the focal point of contact for the team and will be responsible for organizing and coordinating the activities of the clinical and translational laboratory research efforts.  Jackie strongly believes in fostering healthy collaborations between the FHPR team, patients and their families as well as hospital partners and outside partners.


Nicole Handa

Medical Student

Joined: 2017

Nicole received her undergraduate degree in Biology and Psychology from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana in 2017. She is currently a first-year medical student at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Nicole joined the FHPR team as part of her Area of Scholarly Concentration and looks forward to pursuing research investigating the clinical and ethical challenges related to childhood fertility preservation consultations.