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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

Dr. Laronda oversees the Gonadal Tissue Processing Suite located in the Lurie Children's OR suites. This lab is where ovarian and gonadal tissue is processed and cryopreserved for future use for pediatric, adolescent and adult patients.

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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.


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.


Melissa Jinju Bak

AOSC, Medical Student

Joined: Summer 2021

Melissa is a medical student in the class of 2024 at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She grew up in Reno, Nevada, and graduated from Northwestern University in 2020 with a BA in Neuroscience. She joined the FHPR team as part of her Area of Scholarly Concentration due to her interest in pediatric surgery. She has immensely enjoyed working with the FHPR team and their patients, and it has been fulfilling to further investigate educational methods regarding fertility preservation consultations. 

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