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.

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Dr. Laronda

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

Ph.D. Candidate

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.

Headshot by Janice B Terry, LCH 

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Hana Kubo

Ph.D. Candidate

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.

Headshot by Janice B Terry, LCH 

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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.


Ashley Diaz, M.D.

Research Technologist II

Joined: September 2021

Ashley graduated from Baylor University with a B.S. in Biochemistry and a minor in Biology and from NU with a M.S. in Reproductive Science and Medicine with a focus in oncofertility. Ashley's thesis work focused on identifying how ovarian tissue cryopreservation processing methods may influence fertility and hormone restoration. Her current work is investigating the release, activation and growth of follicles in engineered biomaterial scaffolds.


Elizabeth Tsui

Ph.D. candidate

Joined: September 2020

Elizabeth is a PhD student in the Driskill Graduate Program at NU Feinberg School of Medicine as well as a student in Northwestern’s Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). She is a graduate of Duke University, with a major in Biology and a minor in both Chemistry and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. Under the mentorship of Dr. Kris Wood at Duke, she studied the role of c-Myc as the convergence point of multiple chemotherapeutic resistance mechanisms in B-Raf mutant melanoma. In the Laronda lab, she focuses on understanding differences between prepubertal and postpubertal ovaries as well as the contribution of the stromal microenvironment to folliculogenesis. 

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Lauren Burns

Research Intern

Joined: October 2020

Lauren graduated from Brown University in Rhode Island with a B.S. in Health and Human Biology with a focus on Global Health. She was a part-time intern for the Illinois Department of Public Health. She has an interest in computational biology and is currently working on a workflow to develop color matched 3D printed prosthetic irises.


Aisha Siebert, MD, PhD, MPH

Urology Resident, Research Fellow

Joined: July 2021

Aisha Siebert is a Urology Resident at Northwestern University spending a year as a post-doctoral research fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Monica Laronda. Her research background is in Toxicology, Evolutionary Genetics, Genomics, and Translational Science. Her clinical research interests are in Pediatric/Transitional Urology as well as Andrology/Fertility.