Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Duncan Lab

About Our Lab

The female reproductive system is the first to age in the human body and will affect every single woman. Reproductive aging is characterized by a noticeable decline in egg quantity and quality beginning in women when they reach their mid-thirties and continuing until menopause. Female reproductive aging has significant health consequences as it results in endocrine function loss and is a leading cause of infertility, miscarriages, and birth defects. Reproductive aging has a large societal impact as women globally are delaying childbearing and many women of advanced reproductive age rely on Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) to conceive.

The Duncan Lab uses mammalian model systems (mouse, bovine, and human) to investigate the overarching hypothesis that deterioration of oocyte-intrinsic cellular pathways together with alterations in the ovarian environment underlie the age-associated decline in female gamete quantity and quality. Our research will improve the fertile-span and health-span across generations through discovery of novel cellular pathways for therapeutic interventions.

Publications

  1. Ataman LM, Laronda MM, Gowett M, Trotter K, Anvari H, Fei F, Ingram A, Minette M, Suebthawinkul C, Taghvaei Z  et al.  Correction to: A synopsis of global frontiers in fertility preservation.  J Assist Reprod Genet  2022 Aug 03;. doi:10.1007/s10815-022-02586-x
  2. Chen YY, Russo DD, Drake RS, Duncan FE, Shalek AK, Goods BA, Woodruff TK  Single-cell transcriptomics of staged oocytes and somatic cells reveal novel regulators of follicle activation.  Reproduction  2022 Aug 01;164(2):55-70. doi:10.1530/REP-22-0053
  3. Ataman LM, Laronda MM, Gowett M, Trotter K, Anvari H, Fei F, Ingram A, Minette M, Suebthawinkul C, Taghvaei Z  et al.  A synopsis of global frontiers in fertility preservation.  J Assist Reprod Genet  2022 Jul 23;. doi:10.1007/s10815-022-02570-5
  4. Suebthawinkul C, Babayev E, Zhou LT, Lee HC, Duncan FE  Quantitative morphokinetic parameters identify novel dynamics of oocyte meiotic maturation and cumulus expansion.  Biol Reprod  2022 Jul 08;. pii:ioac139

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Francesca E. Duncan, PhD

Francesca E. Duncan, PhD

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