Laronda Lab Members
pluripotent stem cell differentiation protocols within the NMH Good Manufacturing Practice facility. She has also worked within the Oncofertility Consortium, under the direction of Dr. Woodruff, to develop clinical-grade ovarian tissue preservation kits.
Dr. Laronda was awarded the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface for her work in the Woodruff Lab on developing an engineered ovary using 3D printing. The BWF CASI is a transition award that continues to support her independent lab.
Dr. Laronda was recruited by the Stanley Manne Research Institute and the Ann & Robert H Lurie Children’s Hospital to contribute to the Fertility and Hormone Preservation and Restoration Program that bridges basic science, translational research and clinical practice. She started her appointment in the Department of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology on August 2016 as a Warren and Eloise Batts Scholar.
Monica M. Laronda, PhD
Dr. Laronda received her undergraduate degree from Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. She earned her PhD in Life Sciences in the laboratory of J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD in Northwestern University’s Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, while studying the role of Sox3 (sex-determining region-Y box gene 3) on spermatogonial differentiation. Her first postdoctoral appointment in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern, provided an outlet to explore how undifferentiated epithelium received cues from adjacent mesenchymal layers, and how this could be disrupted during neonatal exposure to synthetic estrogens. Her second postdoctoral appointment was under the guidance of Teresa K Woodruff, PhD where she investigated the extracellular matrix (ECM) compartments within the ovary, how these affect the growth and viability of isolated granulosa cells and ovarian follicles and how to use natural ECM or biomimetic scaffolds to create an engineered ovary. Under Dr. Woodruff’s mentorship, Dr. Laronda has received several internal grants, including one from the John and Lillian Mathews Regenerative Medicine Endowment Fund to develop induced
Nathaniel F. Henning
Joined: June 2017
Nathan is a Driskill Graduate Program (Ph.D.) student at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. He graduated from Hamline University in Saint Paul, MN with a B.S. in Biology, B.A. in Chemistry, and minor in History. He is currently developing research projects in reproductive biology utilizing stem cells, model organisms, and microscopy.
Research Technologist II
Joined: May 2018
Sofia Petukhova graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology, and a minor in Chemistry. Sofia previously worked in biochemistry and inorganic chemistry labs, as well as has experience as an EMT. She is currently assisting lab research projects focused on hormone restoration and preservation by using bovine tissue culture models, and molecular biology bench techniques.
Joined: June 2019
Hana is a PhD student in the Driskill Graduate Program at NU Feinberg School of Medicine. She graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. in Genetics and a minor in Classical Studies. During her undergraduate years, Hana worked in Dr. Andrea Kasinski’s lab studying the role of microRNAs in non-small cell lung cancer. In the Laronda lab, she is working to generate ovarian follicle support cells from stem cells, as well as better characterize support cells in various culture conditions.
Headshots by Janice B Terry, LCH
Grace B. Schwartz
Research Technologist II
Joined: October 2019
Grace, originally from Vermont, graduated from Northeastern University in Boston, MA with a B.S. in Biochemistry, Psychology minor. She has several years of laboratory experience and realized her interest in human disease research while working at UCSF for Dr. Stephan Sanders, where she studied RNA splicing errors and how this can be manipulated in vitro. In the Laronda Lab, Grace is most interested in the deriving iPSCs from patients with differences in sexual development to understand how chromosomal abnormalities can affect hormone production and fertility. She is also characterizing the ovarian stromal cell population.