Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Duncan Lab

News

October 2022

  • Victoria Zhu, MS joined the lab as a research technologist.
  • Anushka Nair joined the lab as an undergraduate researcher. welcome-victoria-and-anushka.jpg

September 2022

  • A new Duncan Lab publication: 
    • Aubrey Converse, PhD, Farners Amargant i Riera, PhD, and Emily Zaniker published their a detailed protocol on encapsulated in vitro follicle growth in Biology of Reproduction. 
      • Converse A, Zaniker EJ, Amargant F, Duncan FE. Recapitulating folliculogenesis and oogenesis outside the body: encapsulated in vitro follicle growth. Biol Reprod. 2022 Sep 22:ioac176. doi: 10.1093/biolre/ioac176. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36136744. 
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  • Duncan Lab Members attended the 16th Annual Lewis Landsberg Research Day at Northwestern University. research-day-2022.png
    • Aubrey Converse, PhD, presented her poster titled "FSH glycoforms exhibit differential bioactivities on early secondary follicles cultured in an encapsulated in vitro follicle growth system."
    • Prianka H. Hashim presented her poster titled "The role of the cGAS-STING pathway in ovarian aging."
    • Pooja Devrukhkar, MBBS, presented her poster titled "Establishing Doxorubicin-induced Senescence in the Human Ovary."
    • Hannes Campo, PhD, presented his poster titled "Recreating Features of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in Vitro Using LATTICE, a Tissue-Agnostic Microfluidic Platform."
    • Caroline Kratka presented her poster titled "Pharmacologic inhibition of proprotein convertases alters the behavior of cumulus cells during mouse in vitro maturation" and was chosen as a finalist for the Basic Science Research Poster Award.
    • Emily Zaniker presented her poster titled "Investigating spatial asymmetry in the molecular determinants of ovarian follicle rupture for non-hormonal contraceptive discovery."
    • Shweta Dipali presented her poster titled "Ovarian Aging as a Mechanism for Ovarian Cancer."
  • Farners Amargant i Riera, PhD received the Notice of Award for her K99 on "Mechanotransduction mechanisms of ovarian aging."  _congrats-farners.png
  • A new Duncan lab publication:
    • Dr. Elnur Babayev published in Molecular Human Reproduction and was selected for Editor's Choice!
      • Elnur Babayev, Min Xu, Lonnie D Shea, Teresa K Woodruff, Francesca E Duncan, Follicle isolation methods reveal plasticity of granulosa cell steroidogenic capacity during mouse in vitro follicle growth, Molecular Human Reproduction, 2022;, gaac033, https://doi.org/10.1093/molehr/gaac033
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August 2022

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Paula Wetten joined the lab as an visiting scholar from the Instituto de Histología y Embriología de Mendoza (IHEM, UNCuyo-CONICET) sponsored by IUBMB Wood-Whelan Research Fellowship program. welcome-paula.png
  • Duncan Lab members attended the 2022 Gordon Research Conference in Vermontgordon-conference.png
    • Dr. Duncan was invited to give a talk titled "Female reproductive aging: perspectives from the game and beyond."
    • Shweta Dipali presented her poster titled "Murine extrafollicular ovarian organoids exhibit age-dependent changes in organization and function."
    • Aubrey Converse presented her poster titled "FSH glycoforms exhibit differential bioactivities on early secondary follicles cultured in an encapsulated in vitro follicle growth system.
  • Farners Amargant was awarded a pilot grant through the Center for Advanced Molecular Imaging for the project: "The development of noninvasive bone mass density imaging as a marker of reproductive longevity in female mice."
  • Caroline Kratka was appointed as a trainee on the CRS T32 training grant at Northwestern University. Emily Zaniker was reappointed for a second year on the CRS T32 training grant. t32trainee
  • Shweta Dipali was selected to participate in the Kellogg Management for Scientist and Engineers Program at Northwestern University.

July 2022

  • The Duncan Lab received funding through the United States - Israel Binational Science Foundation for a project on "Biological pathways regulating gamete quality during the pubertal transition" in collaboration with Dr. Michael Klutstein and Dr. Tal Imbar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 
  • Dr. Francesca Duncan was awarded tenure and promoted to Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Division of Reproductive Science in Medicine at Northwestern University.
  • Duncan Lab members presented their work at the 55th Society for the Study of Reproduction Annual Meeting from July 26th-29th in Spokane, Washington. 
    • Emily Zaniker participated in the pre-doctoral platform competition and won 2nd place for her flash talk titled "Spatial Asymmetry in the Molecular Determinants of Ovarian Follicle Rupture." She also was awarded the 2022 Lalor Foundation Merit Award! 
    • Elnur Babayev was awarded 3rd place in the post-doctoral poster competition for his poster presentation titled "Cumulus Cell Expansion and Extracellular Matrix Integrity are Impaired with Advanced Reproductive Age."
    • Dr. Farners Amargant i Riera was awarded the 2022 Anita Payne Scholarship to support costs for attendance of the Frontiers in Reproduction (FIR) program. 
    • Dr. Francesca Duncan served as chair for mini-symposiums 17-20 titled "Fertility Decline with Aging - The Underlying Biology" with co-chair Dr. Elnur Babayev.
  • A new Duncan Lab publication:
    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

June 2022

  • Dr. Duncan served as a panelist in a collaborative webinar between ASMB, the Histochemical Society, and the American Society for Investigative Pathology on June 29th. 
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  • Emily Zaniker presented a poster titled, "Investigating spatial asymmetry in the molecular determinants of ovarian follicle rupture for non-hormonal contraceptive discovery" at the 2022 GLC ASPET 35th Annual Meeting on Friday June 17, 2022 at Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, IL.
    • Congratulations to Emily for being awarded 1st place in the graduate level poster competition!
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  • The Duncan Lab celebrated the plethora of accomplishments from this year with a dinner at Coco Pazzo Cafe on June 16th, 2022. 
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  • Farners Amargant i Riera was appointed as the Inaugural Associate Editor for social media and engagement for the journal Molecular Human Reproduction. You can follow the MHR page on twitter @MHR_ReprodSci.
  • Dr. Duncan, along with lab members Aubrey Converse and Emily Zaniker, hosted a webinar titled "Recapitulating folliculogenesis and oogenesis outside the body: encapsulated in vitro follicle growth," within the Society for Study of Reproduction's (SSR) Experimental Methods and Techniques in Reproduction webinar series on June 15th, 2022. 
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  • MSTP student Emily Zaniker, BA, passed her qualifying exams for her doctorate degree. She is now an official PhD candidate! 
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  • Chana Suebthawinkul, MD, MS received the 2022 Makowski award for most outstanding thesis student in the MS-RSM program! She received this award and gave a presentation on her research at graduation on June 9th. 
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  • Lab members Chana Suebthawinkul, MD, MS, Madison Gowett, MS, and Kelsey Andersen, MS, graduated with Masters degrees in Reproductive Science and Medicine on June 9th, 2022.
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  • Dr. Duncan served as faculty for the Immunohistochemistry and Immunofluorescence(IHCIF): A Histochemical Society Hands-on Training Course from June 8-12, 2022 in Germantown, MD. 
  • Masters student Madison Gowett, MS, served as technical faculty for the Immunohistochemistry and Immunofluorescence(IHCIF): A Histochemical Society Hands-on Training Course from June 8-12, 2022 in Germantown, MD. 
  • Lab member Shweta Dipali presented her poster titled "Ovarian aging as a mechanism for ovarian cancer," at the Reproductive Aging Conference from June 5-9, 2022 in Palm Springs, CA.
  • Lab member Hannah Anvari, MS, presented her poster titled "Mapping cellular senescence in the human ovary," at the Reproductive Aging Conference from June 5-9, 2022 in Palm Springs, CA.
  • Dr. Francesca Duncan, PhD, co-organized the Reproductive Aging Conference from June 5-9, 2022 in Palm Springs, CA. This meeting was jointly hosted by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) and the American Aging Association (AGE). She also gave a talk titled "The aging ovarian environment - from the gamete and beyond."
  • Dr. Duncan and colleagues were featured in an article published on June 2nd, 2022 by Neo Life titled "Is it Time to Cancel Menopause?" Click the link below to check it out.

May 2022

  • Dr. Duncan, a Fulbright Scholar alum, served as a panelist during the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program information session held on May 25th by the Buffett Institute for Global Affairs.
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  • Duncan Lab members Francesca Duncan, Farners Amargant, Aubrey Converse, and Elnur Babayev participated in the Frontiers in Reproduction course in Massachusetts. 
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  • Elnur Babayev completed his research fellowship in the Duncan Lab and was appointed as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University. The Babayev lab will open in September 2022.
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  • The Duncan lab had a successful few days of poster and oral presentations at the 2022 CRS Summit Meeting: Frontiers in Reproductive Science and Medicine held on May 12-13th, 2022 on Northwestern's Chicago Campus!
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      • Aubrey Converse, PhD had an oral presentation titled,“Effects of recombinant FSH glycoforms on secondary follicles cultured in an encapsulated in vitro follicle growth system”
      • ChanakarnSuebthawinkul, MD, MS had an oral presentation titled,“Mouse strains with natural variations in mean lifespan exhibit differences in oocyte morphological parameters and morphokinetic dynamics of meiotic maturation” and participated on the alumni panel. She was awarded the 2022 Constance Campbell Memorial Research Award for her excellent talk!
      • Kelsey Andersen, MS had an oral presentation titled,"Mechanisms of inflammaging in the human ovary: expression of tryptophan/kynurenine pathway proteins”
      • Pooja Devrukhkar had a poster presentation titled, "Establishing Doxorubicin-induced senescence in the human ovary"
      • Hoi Chang Lee, PhD had a poster presentation titled, "Morphokinetic parameters of mouse egg activation and embryo development by ionomycin and SrCl2 using EmbryoScope+™"
      • Caroline Kratka had a poster presentation titled, "Pharmacologic inhibition of proprotein convertases alters the behavior of cumulus cells during mouse in vitro maturation "
      • Katy Trotter, MS had a poster presentation titled, "Murine Ovarian Explants Model Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in vitro Under Dynamic Culture in LATTICE
      • Madison Gowett, MS had a poster presentation titled, "Murine extrafollicular ovarian organoids exhibit age-dependent changes in structure and function" 
      • Hannah Anvari, MS had a poster presentation titled, "The Cellular Senescence Network (SenNet): prospective tissue collection to map senescent cells in the human ovary"
      • Shweta Dipali had a poster presentation titled, "Proteomic analysis of native and decellularized ovaries reveals age-dependent extracellular matrix and immune profiles"  Shweta won the 2022 Constance Campbell Memorial Research Award for her poster presentation!
      • Tracy Zhou, MS had a poster presentation titled, "Towards germ cell-specific in vivo genome editing: generating transgenic mice that express oocyte-specific Cas9"
      • Karen Velez, MS had a poster presentation titled, "Extremely long-lived proteins in the mammalian ovary and oocyte"
      • Rebecca Gu had a poster presentation titled, "Application of Ovarian Anatomy Nomenclature to Classify and Quantify Follicles in the Rhesus Macaque Ovary"
      • Emily Zaniker had a poster presentation titled, "Investigating Spatial Asymmetry in the Molecular Determinants of Ovarian Follicle Rupture for Non-Hormonal Contraceptive Discovery"
      • Rhea Sharma had a poster presentation titled, "Acute caloric restriction attenuates the age-associated loss of ovarian follicle number in a population of peri-menopausal rhesus macaques"
  • Chanakarn Suebthawinkul, MD, MS presented her work at the 14th Annual Conference of the Oncofertility Consortium on May 2-4, 2022, Pittsburgh, PA.
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  • Congratulations Madison Gowett for being selected to serve as teaching faculty at the Immunohistochemistry and Immunofluorescence: A Histochemical Society hands-on training course!
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April 2022

  • Welcomed two new lab members, Katy Trotter and Caroline Kratka to the team! Katy will be transitioning into to the new lab manager position and Caroline will be joining the Gates project group for her PhD.
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  • Congratulated Rhea Sharma for being awarded Northwestern University Summer Undergraduate Research Grant to investigate age-dependent changes in the structure and function of the mouse oviduct or fallopian tube which may predispose this organ to neoplastic transformation!
  • Rebecca Gu presented a poster titled, "Application of Ovarian Anatomy Nomenclature to Classify and Quantify Follicles in the Rhesus Macaque Ovary", at the 2022 Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium at Northwestern University, Chicago, IL on April 9th 2022. Rebecca also won first place in the Biological & Environmental Sciences category!
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  • Rhea Sharma presented a poster titled, "Acute caloric restriction attenuates the age-associated loss of ovarian follicle number in a population of peri-menopausal rhesus macaques" at the 2022 Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium at Northwestern University, Chicago, IL on April 9th 2022.
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  • Dr. Duncan gave a talk titled, "Beyond the gamete: the aging ovarian microenvironment" for the IVF Worldwide Online Congress on April 9th, 2022 (virtual).
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March 2022

  • Dr. Duncan gave a talk titled,“The first to age: mechanisms of ovarian aging” for the Cell Biology Department seminar series at the University of Connecticut Health on March 23rd, 2022 (virtual).
  • Dr. Duncan gave a talk titled, "“The first to age: mechanisms and consequences of ovarian aging” for the Ovarian Biology Consortium in Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel, on March 22nd, 2022 (virtual).
  • Dr. Duncan gave a talk titled, “The microenvironment as a driver of ovarian aging” at the 2022 Society for Reproductive Investigation Ovarian Biology Satellite Meeting in Denver, CO, on March 16th, 2022.
  • In honor of International Women's Day, we celebrated and thanked all the talented individuals in our lab!
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  • Dr. Duncan gave a talk titled, “Beyond the gamete: the aging ovarian microenvironment” for the Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics seminar series at Drexel University College of Medicine on March 3rd, 2022 (virtual).

February 2022

  • Congratulated Madison Gowett for successfully defending her thesis and earning her MS in Reproductive Science & Medicine!
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  • Congratulated Chanakarn Suebthawinkul, MD for successfully defending her thesis and earning her MS in Reproductive Science & Medicine!
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  • Congratulated our clinical fellow, Dr. Elnur Babayev on his new assistant professor role in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University starting in September 2022.
  • Celebrated all of the amazing women in our lab that continue to lead the way on International Day of Women and Girls in Science!
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  • Dr. Elnur Babayev and Dr. Farners Amargant were among a highly competitive pool of applicants that were selected to attend the 2022 Frontiers of Reproduction advanced training course. 
  • Dr. Aubrey Converse was selected to be a teaching assistant at the 2022 Frontiers of Reproduction advanced training course.
  • We welcomed an undergraduate student in the BA/MD program to the Duncan Lab! Read more about Preeta Kamat in our lab members section!
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  • Rhea Sharma and Rebecca Gu were awarded a Marcia Storch Research Award from the Center for Reproductive Science to support the work they are doing on aging and caloric restriction on the ovary in the rhesus macaque model.

January 2022

December 2021

  • A new Duncan Lab publication:
  • The Duncan lab had a successful week full of poster and oral presentations at the Society for the Study of Reproduction 54th Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO, on December 15-18th, 2021!
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  • Madison Gowett had an oral presentation titled, "Development of a Novel Murine Extrafollicular Organoid Model to Study the Ovarian Stroma" at the Society for the Study of Reproduction 54th Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO, on December 15-18th, 2021.
  • Hannah Anvari was a finalist for a trainee research award and had an oral presentation titled "Analysis of Fibroblast and Myofibroblast Marker Expression in the Human Ovarian Cortex Across Age" at the Society for the Study of Reproduction 54th Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO, on December 15-18th, 2021.
  • Dr. Farners Amargant had an oral presentation titled, "Hyaluronan Synthesis is Required for Preantral Follicle Growth in the Mouse" at the Society for the Study of Reproduction 54th Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO, on December 15-18th, 2021.
  • Karen Velez had an oral presentation titled, "Whole Animal Pulse-Chase Isotope Labeling with Proteomic Analysis Identifies Extremely Long-Lived Proteins in the Mouse Ovary and Oocyte" at the Society for the Study of Reproduction 54th Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO, on December 15-18th, 2021.
  • Tracy Zhou had an oral presentation titled, "3D-Printed Agarose Molds Compatible with Microphysiologic Integration Enable In Vitro Maturation of Mouse Oocytes in Size Specific Indentations" at the Society for the Study of Reproduction 54th Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO, on December 15-18th, 2021.
  • Dr. Hoi Chang Lee had an oral presentation titled, "Zinc Exocytosis During Egg Activation is Reduced in Post Ovulatory Aged Eggs" at the Society for the Study of Reproduction 54th Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO, on December 15-18th, 2021.
  • Kelsey Andersen had a poster titled, "Mechanisms of Inflammaging in the Human Ovary: Expression of Tryptophan/Kynurenine Pathway Metabolites" at the Society for the Study of Reproduction 54th Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO, on December 15-18th, 2021.
  • Emily Zaniker had a poster titled, "Transcriptomic Profiling of the Spatial Determinants of Follicle Rupture During In Vitro Ovulation" at the Society for the Study of Reproduction 54th Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO, on December 15-18th, 2021.
  • Shweta Dipali had a poster titled, "Human Follicular Fluid Induces Dose-Dependent but Not Age-Dependent Spindle and Chromosome Defects in a Heterologous In vitro Maturation Assay" at the Society for the Study of Reproduction 54th Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO, on December 15-18th, 2021.
  • Dr. Chanakarn Suebthawinkul had a poster titled, "Morphokinetic Parameters of Meiotic Maturation and Cumulus Expansion are Similar Between Euploid and Aneuploid Eggs From Reproductively Young Mice" at the Society for the Study of Reproduction 54th Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO, on December 15-18th, 2021.

November 2021

  • The NIH Common Fund just launched SenNet with the express goal of identifying and characterizing senescent cells across the human body. We have been awarded sub-contracts to be part of the Buck Institute’s U54 center (Senescent cell mapping, identification and validation for human somatic and reproductive tissue) and UG3 project (Evaluating diverse technologies for detecting and validating senescent cells in vivo).  We will be responsible for providing human ovarian tissue for this initiative and using the Lattice platform to study cellular senescence under microphysiologic conditions. Congratulations to our team who will be working on these initiatives – Dr. Mary Ellen Pavone, Dr. Kruti Maniar, Dr. Julie Kim, Dr. Hannes Campo, Hannah Anvari, Shriya Shah, and Julia Balough! 

October 2021

  • Dr. Elnur Babayev presented a poster titled, "Transcriptomic Analysis Reveals Altered Gene Expression in Mice Oocytes During the Pubertal Transition" at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine Scientific Congress and Expo, Baltimore, MD, on October 20th, 2021.

  • Madison Gowett presented a poster titled, "Reproductive Origins of Allergies in Children" at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine Scientific Congress and Expo, Baltimore, MD, on October 20th, 2021.

  • Dr. Elnur Babayev had an oral presentation titled, "Follicular Fluid Hyaluronic Acid Polydispersity is Associated with Age and In Vitro Fertilization Cycle Outcome: A Pilot Study" at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine Scientific Congress and Expo, Baltimore, MD, on October 19th, 2021.  
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  • Madison Gowett presented a poster titled, "Development of a Novel Extrafollicular Organoid Model to Study the Ovarian Stroma" at the Illinois symposium on Reproductive Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, on October 11th, 2021.
  • Emily Zaniker presented a poster titled, "Transcriptomic Profiling of the Spatial Determinants of Follicle Rupture During In Vitro Ovulation" at the Illinois symposium on Reproductive Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, on October 11th, 2021.
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  • Shweta Dipali presented a poster titled "Human Follicular Fluid Induces Dose-Dependent but Not Age-Dependent Spindle and Chromosome Defects in a Heterologous In Vitro Maturation Assay" at the Illinois symposium on Reproductive Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, on October 11th, 2021.
  • Tracy Luhan and Dr. Hannes Campo presented a poster titled, "3D-printed agarose molds compatible with microphysiologic integration enable in vitro maturation of mouse oocytes in size specific indentations" at the Illinois symposium on Reproductive Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, on October 11th, 2021.
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  • Dr. Farners Amargant Riera gave a talk titled "Hyaluronan in the mouse preantral follicle regulates follicle growth" at the Illinois symposium on Reproductive Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, on October 11th, 2021.
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  • Chanakarn Suebthawinkul, MD, gave a flash talk titled, "Nucleolar number in mouse oocytes influences select morphokinetic parameters of meiotic maturation" at the American Society For Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Emerging roles of the nucleolus meeting on October 8th, 2021 (virtual).
  • Dr. Duncan co-chaired the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Emerging roles of the nucleolus virtual conference on October 6th-9th, 2021 (virtual).
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  • A new Duncan Lab publication: 
    • Duncan FE. Ex vivo recovery of mature eggs from unstimulated ovaries in pediatric fertility preservation: proceed with caution. F S Rep. 2021 May 26;2(3):267-268. doi: 10.1016/j.xfre.2021.05.003. PMID: 34553149; PMCID: PMC8441548.

September 2021

  • Dr. Duncan gave a talk titled “The aging ovarian microenvironment: from consequences to mechanisms.” at the Division of Reproductive Sciences Invited Speaker Seminar Series. Yale School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology on September 27th, 2021 (virtual).  
  • Dr. Duncan gave a talk titled “Visible, viable, valuable – keeping the reproductive science and medicine pipeline strong.” at the 2021 Reproductive Science Development Program (RSDP) Retreat (Leading through Research) on September 24th-25th, 2021, Chicago, IL (in person). 
  • A new Duncan Lab publication:
    • Parkes WS, Amargant F, Zhou LT, Villanueva CE, Duncan FE, Pritchard MT. Hyaluronan and Collagen Are Prominent Extracellular Matrix Components in Bovine and Porcine Ovaries. Genes (Basel). 2021 Jul 30;12(8):1186. doi: 10.3390/genes12081186. PMID: 34440360; PMCID: PMC8392036.
  • Dr. Duncan gave a talk titled “An old matrix: the multi-faceted role of hyaluronan in ovarian aging.” at the Centre de recherche en reproduction et fertilite (CRRF), Universite de Montreal, September 7th, 2021 (virtual). 
  • Dr. Duncan gave a talk titled “An old matrix: the multi-faceted role of hyaluronan in ovarian aging.” at the Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar Series, Texas A&M, September 3rd, 2021 (virtual).
  • Dr. Duncan was a Keynote speaker and gave a talk titled “An old matrix: the multi-faceted role of hyaluronan in ovarian aging.” at the Developmental, Stem Cell, and Regenerative Biology Graduate Group Retreat 2021, University of Pennsylvania, September 2nd, 2021 (in person).

August 2021

  • The Duncan lab was awarded the H Foundation Core Usage Pilot Project Award for the project on “Accelerated aging of the ovarian matrisome as a mechanism of racial disparities in ovarian cancer.”
  • Congratulated Emily Zaniker on being awarded the Reproductive Science, Medicine, and Technology Training (T32) Grant from the Center for Reproductive Science!
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July 2021

  • Congratulated Shweta Dipali on being awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award from the National Cancer Institute.
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  • Dr. Duncan was a keynote speaker and had a presentation titled “Harnessing in vitro follicle development and ovulation for ovarian contraceptive discovery” at the Society for the Study of Reproduction Contraceptive Symposium on July 28th, 2021 (virtual).
  • Dr. Duncan was an invited speaker for the Cryo2021 virtual conference. She spoke on "maximizing the fertility preservation potential of complex tissue" on July 20, 2021 (virtual). 
  • Congratulations to Dr. Francesca Duncan for being appointed the new Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Human Reproduction! We encourage you to submit your best research to MHR and here are the top 10 reasons why!
  • The "Harnessing histochemical approaches to reveal novel mechanisms of ovarian aging" webinar on July 14, 2021, will feature Dr. Duncan, Dr. Babayev, and Dr. Amargant. 
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  • A new Duncan Lab publication:
  • Hannah Anvari had a poster presentation titled "Ovarian aging markers are similar between non-hispanic black and white women" at the Society for Reproductive Investigation Annual Meeting on July 6-9, 2021 (virtual).
  • Shout out to Elnur Babayev and Farners Amargant for contributing their knowledge and expertise for a recent Vox video about the story of fertilization!

June 2021

  • We are happy to congratulate Adebukola on receiving the 2021 Marcia L. Storch Scholarship for Undergraduate Women! This summer she will be investigating the effect of age and caloric restriction on follicle number in rhesus macaque ovaries.
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  • Elnur Babayev had a poster presentation titled "Cumulus cell expansion and the hyaluronic acid matrix do not change with advanced reproductive age" at the International Society for Hyaluronan Sciences Annual Meeting on June 14th-15th, 2021 (virtual).
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  • Farners Amargant had a poster presentation titled "Hyaluronan synthesis is required for preantral follicle growth in the mouse" at the International Society for Hyaluronan Sciences Annual Meeting on June 14th-15th, 2021 (virtual).
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  • A special congratulations to Hannah Anvari for being awarded the Makowski Award for Most Outstanding MS-RSM student on the thesis track! This award was sponsored by Dr. Rajendra Kumar at the University of Colorado. We are proud of Hannah and all the work she has done for her thesis titled "Comparison of ovarian aging markers does not reveal differences between Black and white women".
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  • Congratulations to Hannah Anvari and Karen Velez, on successfully graduating from the Reproductive Science and Medicine Masters program!
  • We welcomed three new students to the Duncan Lab! Rebecca Gu is a volunteer that is working on investigating the effects of caloric restriction on ovarian aging. Emmett Kelly is a summer volunteer and will be working on investigating the effects of parental age on reproductive and offspring outcomes. Emily Zaniker is a MD/PhD student that will be joining us to complete her dissertation research on investigating the spatial distribution of ovulatory pathways as part of the Ovarian Contraceptive Discovery Initiative.
  • Dr. Duncan gave a talk titled “Ex vivo ovulation as a path towards non-hormonal ovarian contraceptive discovery.” for the Gates Foundation Discovery Scientific Series on June 3, 2021 (virtual).

May 2021 

  • Dr. Duncan gave a talk titled “Oncofertility: Past, Present, Future.” for the Fertility Preservation and Reproductive Late Effects Program at the University of  Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and Children’s Hospital Colorado, Denver, CO, on May 21, 2021.
  • A new Duncan Lab publication:
  • Congratulations to Dr. Hoi Chang Lee and Julia Balough for having their recent manuscript make the cover of Andrology!
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  • The Duncan lab is excited to welcome Adebukola Fetuga to our team this summer! Congratulations to Adebukola for being awarded the Weinberg College Summer Research Grant Award!
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  • Julia Balough gave the following talk titled "Maternal and paternal age contributions to fertility outcomes in the mouse" at the CRS Summit on May 7, 2021. We also celebrated Julia for receiving the 2021 Constance Campbell Research Award!
  • Hannah Anvari gave the following talk titled "Ovarian aging markers are similar between non-Hispanic Black and white women" at the CRS Summit on May 7, 2021.
  • Karen Velez gave the following talk titled "Assessing the Impact of Stress on Menstrual Cyclicity During the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Survey Study" at the CRS Summit on May 7, 2021.

April 2021

  • Dr. Duncan gave the following talk titled “A growing educational pipeline: insights from a MS program in the reproductive sciences.” for the Congress on Innovation in Teaching and Learning in Health Sciences at the University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain, on April 20-21, 2021 (virtual).           
  • We are thrilled and proud of Hannah Anvari, Karen Velez, and Lauren Butler for successfully defending their thesis!
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  • Dr. Duncan gave the following talk titled “The Aging Ovarian Microenvironment: Mechanisms, Consequences, and Therapeutic Opportunities.” for the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology Seminar Series, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, on April 19, 2021 (virtual).
  • Dr. Duncan gave a talk titled “Mechanisms and Modulation of Ovarian Function across the Lifespan.” for the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology at Michigan State University, on April 7, 2021 (virtual).
  • Interested in joining our lab! The Duncan lab has two postdoctoral positions available. Click the following link for more information: bit.ly/3avQH67
    • dl-postdoc-9.png

March 2021

  • Dr. Duncan gave the following talk, “The Aging Ovarian Microenvironment: Mechanisms, Consequences, and Therapeutic Opportunities.” at the Center for Research on Reproduction and Women’s Health, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, on March 31, 2021 (virtual).
  • The Duncan lab celebrated International Women's day! We thank all our members for leading the way!
    • iwd2021.png
  • Dr. Duncan gave a talk titled, “The Aging Ovarian Microenvironment: Mechanisms, Consequences, and Therapeutic Opportunities.” at the Department of Comparative Biosciences Seminar Series, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, on March 10, 2021 (virtual). 
  • A new Duncan Lab publication:
    Kristensen SG, Duncan FE  Autonomous follicle growth and the production of mature human eggs in vitro: with or without the ovary?  Hum Reprod  2021 Mar 03;. pii:deab052
  • Dr. Duncan gave the following talk, “Feeling stiff with age: the aging ovarian microenvironment.” at the CMB Seminar Series, University of Texas at San Antonio, on March 1, 2021 (virtual).

February 2021

January 2021

  • Read more about the current work occurring at the Buck Institute, which features an interview with Dr. Duncan!
    • 20210202_bucksnapshot.jpg
  • A new publication (*featuring current and previous Duncan Lab members):
    Rogers HB, Zhou LT, Kusuhara A, Zaniker E, Shafaie S, Owen BC, Duncan FE, Woodruff TK Dental resins used in 3D printing technologies release ovo-toxic leachates.Chemosphere 2020 Dec 07;270:129003. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.129003
  • We welcomed two new masters students to the Duncan Lab! Read more about Chana Suebthanwinkul and Madison Gowett in our lab members section!
    • 20210131_mg_cs_welcome.jpg

December 2020

  • We are thrilled to share that Dr. Duncan has been elected to be a Council Member for the Histochemical Society effective January 1st, 2021!
  • A new Duncan Lab publication:
    Foley KG, Pritchard MT, Duncan FE  Macrophage multinucleated giant cells: hallmarks of the aging ovary.  Reproduction  2020 Dec 01;. doi:10.1530/REP-20-0489
  • Many congratulations to Tracy Zhou on her promotion from Research Lab Manager to Research Associate effective December 1st! In her new role Tracy will serve as the Operations Lead for the Ovarian Contraceptive Discovery Initiative.

October 2020

September 2020

  • Farners Amargant gave the following talk titled, "Ovarian stiffness increases with age in the mammalian ovary and depends on collagen and hyaluronan matrices", at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) Mechanisms of Aging Conference on September 25, 2020.
    • 20200925_fa_talk.jpg
  • Congratulations to Shweta Dipali for being awarded a Cornerstone Grant from the Histochemical Society for her proposal: "Histologic evaluation of the decellularized ovary as a model for the study of ovarian cancer cell adhesion and expansion​"! 
    • 20200918_sd_hcs_cornerstone.jpg
  • Dr. Duncan gave the following talk, “Expanding our knowledge of the inorganic signature of life.” at the Modern Views in Nutrition Series, Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences, University of Iowa, on September 23, 2020 (virtual).

August 2020

July 2020

  • Farners presented the following talk titled, "Reproductive aging: stiffness, fibrosis and hyaluronan" for the seminar series: Coronaseminars of Reproduction, a series for Spanish/South American reproductive scientists.
    • 20200730.jpg
  • A new Duncan Lab publication:
    Quan N, Mara JN, Grover AR, Pavone ME, Duncan FE  Spatial Analysis of Growing Follicles in the Human Ovary to Inform Tissue Engineering Strategies.  Tissue Eng Part A  2020 07;26(13-14):733-746. doi:10.1089/ten.tea.2020.0051
  • A new Duncan Lab grant:
    We were recently awarded a collaborative grant from the National Science Foundation entitled “Hyaluronan, NRF2 and Protracted Female Fertility in Long-lived Naked Mole-Rats.”  The PI of the grant is Ned Place (Cornell University), and additional collaborators include: Vera Gorbunova (University of Rochester) and Melissa Holmes (University of Toronto). Read more about the grant under our Research tab!
  • Help us understand more about the impact of food allergies!
  • Many congratulations to Farners on being awarded 2nd place for her oral presentation at SSR virtual!20200712_fa_ssr_award.jpg
  • Lab members Farners Amargant and Tracy Zhou presented at SSR virtual this year!
    • 20200707_ssr_virtual.jpg
  • Our hyaluronan paper is featured in the NICHD Fertility and Infertility Branch highlights!

June 2020

  • A new Duncan Lab publication:
    Quan N, Mara JN, Grover AR, Pavone ME, Duncan FE  Spatial Analysis of Growing Follicles in the Human Ovary to Inform Tissue Engineering Strategies.  Tissue Eng Part A  2020 Jun 26;. doi:10.1089/ten.tea.2020.0051
  • Dr. Duncan was featured in Marie Claire's article on Fertility & Reproductive Aging!
    • Read more about it HERE!
    • 20200624_mc_fd_quote.png
  • Dr. Duncan gave the following talk titled, "Female reproductive aging from the gamete to the ovary and beyond" for the Save the Egg: Webinar Series on June 23rd, 2020.
    • 20200623_savetheegg_fd_webinar.jpg
  • Many congratulations to our postdoctoral fellow, Farners Amargant, on receiving the SSR Trainee Travel Award!
    • 20200619_ssr_fa_traineetravelaward.jpg
  • The Duncan lab is proud to announce that Shweta passed her DGP qualifying exam and is now an official PhD candidate of the lab! Many congratulations Shweta!!
    • 20200519_sd_quals.jpg
  • We are thrilled to announce that effective June 1st, 2020 Drs. Francesca E. Duncan & J. Julie Kim will be the new co-directors for the Center for Reproductive Science!
    • 20200529_crs_announcement.jpg

May 2020

  • Congratulations Lauren Butler on a successful thesis proposal presentation and defense! Lauren presented her thesis research titled, "Investigating the Role of the mTOR Pathway in Physiological and Accelerated Ovarian Aging" to committee members Dr. Francesca E. Duncan and Dr. Robert Schneider. 20200521_lb_thesis.jpg
  • Congratulations Karen Velez on successfully presenting your thesis proposal and defense! Karen presented her thesis research titled, "Identification and Characterization of Extremely Long-Lived Proteins in Mouse Ovaries and Oocytes" to committee members Dr. Jessica Hornick, Dr. Jeff Savas, and Dr. Ewa Bomba-Warczak. 20200520_kv_thesis.jpg
  • TWO new Duncan Lab publications:
  • Our post-doc, Farners Amargant, virtually presented her research to the Aging Science community! Her talk titled, "The aging ovarian microenvironment: linking stromal fibrosis and the hyaluronan matrix" inspired great feedback and questions! 20200514_02.jpg 
  • Congratulations Hannah Anvari on a successful thesis proposal presentation and defense! Hannah presented her thesis research titled, "Investigating Racial Disparities in Markers of Ovarian Aging Among Non-Hispanic Black and Non-Hispanic White Women in the US" to committee members Dr. Melissa Simon (co-mentor), Dr. Jian-Jun Wei, and Dr. Mary Ellen Pavone. 20200514_ha_thesis.jpg

March 2020

  • Welcome to Julia Balough, MS who is the first member of the Duncan Lab at the Buck Institute on Aging! In addition to working in the Duncan Lab, Jules is the Operations Leader for the Reproductive Biology Hub at the Center for Reproductive Longevity and Equality which Dr. Duncan co-directs.
    • buck_mar2020_fd_jb.jpg

February 2020

January 2020

  • We hosted three visitors to learn techniques from our lab! Emily and Andressa joined us from the lab of Dr. Jodi Flaws in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Urbana, IL). Dr. Ivana Celic joined us from her lab in Tulane University School of Medicine (New Orleans, LA)         202001jan_hosting.jpg    
  • Dr. Duncan attended and spoke at "Fertility 2020" The Joint Fertility Conference hosted by the Association of Clinical Embryologists, British Fertility Society, and the Society for Reproduction and Fertility, Edinburgh, Scotland, January 9-11th, 2020.
    • Dr. Duncan gave the SRF/SSR New Investigator Lecture titled, "The aging ovarian microenvironment: stromal fibrosis, inflammation, and the hyaluronan matrix"                      20200108_fertility2020.jpg

December 2019

  • The Duncan lab participated in the Science in Society's Scientific Images Contest for the second year in a row and our image won 4th place! This year's image is credited to Hoi Chang Lee, Eric Roth (pictured), and Francesca Duncan.                  sis_porf.jpg

November 2019

  • The Duncan lab attended and presented at the 2019 Illinois Symposium on Reproductive Science at Northwestern University, Chicago, IL November 13-14, 2019.
    • Lab members presented the following posters:
      1. Farners Amargant, "Dysregulation of the hyaluronan network in the mammalian ovary is associated with altered ovarian biomechanical properties"
      2. Tracy Zhou, "Improving in vitro maturation of recovered cumulus oocytes complexes following processing of pediatric ovarian tissue for cryopreservation"
      3. Shweta Dipali, "Histologic analysis and lipid profiling reveal reproductive age-associated changes in peri-ovarian adipose tissue"
    • Many congratulations to Jamie Mara for winning an award for her oral presentation titled, "Ovulation and ovarian wound healing are impaired with advanced reproductive age"!
    • isrs2019_jm_talk.jpg
  • A new Duncan Lab publication:
    Rowley JE, Rubenstein GE, Manuel SL, Johnson NL, Surgnier J, Kapitsinou PP, Duncan FE, Pritchard MT  Tissue-specific Fixation Methods Are Required for Optimal In Situ Visualization of Hyaluronan in the Ovary, Kidney, and Liver.  J Histochem Cytochem  2019 Nov 12;:22155419884879. doi:10.1369/0022155419884879
  • The Duncan lab had a great time presenting at the 2019 Oncofertility Consortium Conference, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL November 11-13, 2019!
    •  Lab members presented the following posters:
      1. Farners Amargant, "Dysregulation of the hyaluronan network in the mammalian ovary is associated with altered ovarian biomechanical properties"
      2. Tracy Zhou, "Improving in vitro maturation of recovered cumulus oocytes complexes following processing of pediatric ovarian tissue for cryopreservation"
      3. Shweta Dipali, "Histologic analysis and lipid profiling reveal reproductive age-associated changes in peri-ovarian adipose tissue"
      4. Jamie Mara, "Ovulation and ovarian wound healing are impaired with advanced reproductive age"
      5. Francesca Duncan, "A decellularized oocyte-derived scaffold provides a 'sperm safe' to preserve mammalian spermatozoa
    • occ2019_posters.jpg
  • Dr. Duncan attended and spoke at “Frontiers in Oncofertility.” 64th Annual Meeting of the Japan Society for Reproductive Medicine. Kobe, Japan, November 7-8th, 2019. She gave the following talks:
    • “Reproductive age-associated changes in the ovarian stroma: fibrosis and hyaluronan” presentation to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Jikei School of Medicine at the Japanese Society for Reproductive Medicine Annual Meeting, Kobe, Japan, November 7th, 2019.   japan_talk001.jpg
      “The career path of a female scientist in the 21st century in the United States.” Women in Medicine Symposium, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Jikei University School of Medicine, November 8, 2019, Tokyo Japan.​                                                                                                japan_talk002.jpg

October 2019

  • Dr. Duncan co-chaired the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology meeting on "Emerging Roles for the Nucleolus" at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, Mo. October 24-27.
  • A new Duncan Lab publication:
    Simon LE, Liu Z, Bousfield G, Kumar TR, Duncan FE  Recombinant FSH glycoforms are bioactive in mouse preantral ovarian follicles.  Reproduction  2019 Oct 01;. doi:10.1530/REP-19-0392
  • Rebecca Ayiku presented her summer research with the Duncan lab at the NU Bioscientist Poster Presentation at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL October 3rd, 2019!        20191003-r_ayiku-nu-bioscientist-poster.jpg

September 2019

  • Dr. Duncan gave a talk titled, "The aging ovarian microenvironment: linking stromal fibrosis, inflammation, and the hyaluronan matrix." at Magee-Womens Research Institute, Work in Progress, Pittsburgh, PA September 18th, 2019.

August 2019

July 2019

  • Congratulations Dr. Farners Amargant on being selected as the next chair of the Gordon Research Seminar in 2021!
  • Dr. Farners Amargant presented her poster titled, "The Ovarian Hyaluronan Network is Dysregulated with Advanced Reproductive Age" at the Gordon Research Conference on Fertilization and Activation of Development at Holderness School, Holderness, NH (July 27th - 28th). 
  • Dr. Duncan gave the following keynote, "Reproductive Science through the Ages: Insights from the Bench and for Life" at the Gordon Research Seminar on Fertilization and Activation of Development at Holderness School, Holderness, NH (July 27th - 28th).
  • Dr. Duncan gave the following talk at the Gordon Research Conference on Fertilization and Activation of Development, "A changing matrix: ovarian hyaluronan, inflammation, and reproductive aging" at Holderness School, Holderness, NH (July 27th - 28th).
  • The Duncan lab had a wonderful time at the 2019 Society for the Study of Reproduction Annual Meeting! 
    • Special congratulations to Dr. Duncan on receiving the Virendra B. Mahesh New Investigator Award!                            2019ssr_01.jpg
    • Former lab member Ronni Manuel gave an wonderful talk, titled "Anti-apoptotic Based Fertoprotective Agents do not Protect the Ovarian Stroma from Radiation-induced Fibrosis in the Nonhuman Primate."             2019ssr_02.jpg
    • Former lab member Leah Simon presented her thesis work titled, "Age-specific fully- and hypo-glycosylated follicle stimulating hormone glycoforms are bioactive in isolated murine secondary follicles" and lab manager Tracy Zhou presented collaborative research with the Laronda Lab titled, "Cumulus oocyte complexes can be recovered from small antral follicles following processing of pediatric ovarian tissue for cryopreservation".2019ssr_03.jpg

June 2019

May 2019

  • Congratulations Dr. Farners Amargant on being selected to present a talk at the 2019 Gordon Research Conferences: Fertilization and Activation of Development!        20190521_far_gordon_talk.png
  • Dr. Duncan gave the following talk, “Fertility Preservation for Men, Women, and Children” at the College of Reproductive Biology (CRB) Symposium, New Orleans, LA, May 16-19, 2019
  • Dr. Duncan participated in the 2019 Frontiers in Reproduction course at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. She lectured in Section 2: Stem Cells, Gametogenesis, Fertilization, and Preimplantation embryo development. This a course Dr. Duncan attended as a student in 2004!
  • The Duncan lab in collaboration with Dr. Jeffrey Savas has received funding for our R21: Extremely Long Lived Proteins and Female Reproductive Aging
  • Many congratulations to Ronni Manuel for being selected to give an oral presentation at Society for the Study of Reproduction's 52nd Annual Conference this July!                   20190503_rm_talk.png
  • Congratulations Jenny Rowley on being awarded an International Society for Hyaluronan Sciences Travel Award! 20190502_jr_travelaward.png

April 2019

  • Dr. Duncan gave a talk Tuesday, April 23rd at the Center for Reproductive Health Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri titled: "Female Reproductive Aging - Insights from the Gamete to the Ovarian Microenvironment"
  • Congratulations Jenny Rowley for being selected to give an oral presentation at the 12th International Conference of the International Society for Hyaluronan Sciences! 20190423_jr_talk.png
  • Many congratulations to Jenny Rowley and Farners Amargant on being awarded the 2019 Spring & Summer Northwestern Center for Reproductive Science's Constance Campbell Trainee Travel Award!

    Jenny will be presenting her work at the 12th International Conference of the International Society for Hyaluronan Sciences, taking place June 9 – 13 in Cardiff, Wales.

    Farners will be presenting her work at the 2019 Gordon Research Conference​ for Fertilization and Activation of Development: Gametes, Fertilization and the Tissues in Which They Develop in Humans, Animals and Plants, taking place July 27 – August 2nd in Holderness, NH 

  • Congratulations to Rebecca Ayiku for receiving the Summer Undergrad Research at Northwestern University (UR@NU) Grant! This prestigious award will allow Rebecca to perform research this summer in the Duncan Lab on her project "Determining the Role of Eosinophils in Female Reproductive Aging." Rebecca is currently a freshman at Northwestern University, studying psychology and is on the pre-med track. Rebecca will pioneer new paths for our understanding of how the ovarian stroma changes with age! 20190416_ayiku_urg.jpg

  • The Duncan lab had a wonderful time presenting at the 15th Annual Lewis Landsberg Research Day at Northwestern University! We presented three posters:april2019news_01.png
    • 1) The Ovarian Hyaluronan Network is Dysregulated with Advanced Reproductive Age - Farners Amargant
    • 2) Gamete Recovery from Pediatric Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation Processing Media - Tracy Zhou
    • 3) The Extracellular Matrix Undergoes Age Related Changes in the Human Ovary - Francesca E. Duncan
      • We are especially proud of Farners for receiving the Award for Excellence in Women’s Health Research for her terrific work!     april2019news_02.png
  • Welcome to the Duncan Lab Naty!

    Dr. Natalia Marisa Pascuali received her PhD in Biological Chemistry from Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina. During her PhD research, she investigated the potential use of sphingolipids in iatrogenic ovarian pathologies, such as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) and premature ovarian failure (POF) caused by anti-tumoral treatments.

    Dr. Pascuali is awarded with an Oster Fellowship from the Bunge & Born Foundation to continue her research on chemotherapy-induced POF here in the Duncan Lab. Her focus will be on the inflammatory and stromal components of this process leading to a decline in fertility. 20190402_naty_welcome.jpg

March 2019

  • Many congratulations to Dr. Duncan on receiving the 2019 SSR Virendra B. Mahesh New Investigator Award! Dr. Duncan is being recognized for outstanding research completed and published within 12 years after receiving her PhD!03202019-ssr-award.png
  • Dr. Duncan participated in the 2019 Translational Science meeting in Washington, DC on March 5th-8th.  She gave a talk in the Serendipity in Science in Regenerative Medicine session, and her talk was: “Translational Science in the Setting of  Fertility Preservation – from Oncofertility to Reproductive Aging”
  • Dr. Duncan also attended the Society for Reproductive Investigation’s (SRI) 66th Annual Meeting in Paris, France. 
    • She gave two talks in the Ovarian Biology Satellite Session:

      “Considering the surroundings: effects of iatrogenic exposures on the ovarian microenvironment” and “Making a baby from a human primordial follicle: where do we stand?”

    • She also represented the Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR) and participated in the SRI-SSR Joint Session: Implications of Manipulating Immature Ovarian Follicles to Produce Healthy Mature Eggs.  Her talk was: “Handling Human Ovarian Cortex to Maximize Future Function and Fertility.”

February 2019

January 2019

  • Check out Tracy's image featured on Vector Laboratories websitevectorlabs_ltz_photocontest.png
  • Check out our new lab logo! This logo encompasses all that we study! See if you can find the symbolism of reproductive lifespan, decreasing reproductive potential, and perspectives from the egg and beyond!                                   small_duncan_lab_logo.png
  • A new Duncan Lab publication:
    Singh VP, Yueh WT, Gerton JL, Duncan FE. "Oocyte-specific deletion of Hdac8 in mice reveals stage-specific effects on fertility. Reproduction. 2019 Jan 1. pii: REP-18-0560.R1. doi: 10.1530/REP-18-0560. [Epub ahead of print]

December 2018

  • Dr. Duncan gave a talk at the University of Missouri - Interdisciplinary Reproduction and Health Group entitled "Female Reproductive Aging - From the Gamete and Beyond" on December 12th, 2018.
  • Tracy's image was selected as one of 10 winners for the 2018 Vector Labs Photo Contest and Jenny's image received an honorable mention! Tracy will receive a free canvas of her image and will be featured on the Vector Laboratories homepage and social media page. Jenny will receive a set of 4 acrylic coasters personalized with her image. Congratulations Tracy and Jenny!

November 2018

  • Dr. Duncan gave a talk at The Buck Institute in Novato, CA entitled "Female Reproductive Aging - Insights from the Gamete to the Ovarian Microenvironment".
  • Jenny participated in a public exhibition of Northwestern Science in Society's Scientific Images Contest! Her work was displayed, along with three creative interpretations of her image. High schoolers created original artwork based on the winning images and, at the joint exhibition, met the scientists to discuss their respective pieces and its underlying research.  jr_science_image_contest.png
  • The Duncan Lab attended the 2018 Oncofertility Conference where lab members presented 7 posters! Additionally, Tracy and Jordan led a hands on education module titled "Ovarian Tissue Dissection and Processing for Cryopreservation" during the Existing and Emerging Techniques in Reproductive Health of the Oncofertility Applied Learning Sessions. oc_meeting_2018.png

October 2018

  • Tracy's image was featured and auctioned at the BioNexus KC's fifth annual Science to Art presentation. Check out the image below and at 3:33 in the accompanying video!                                                            oga_bovine_cc_ltz.jpg
  • Congratulations to Jennifer Rowley on being one of the 12 finalists for Northwestern's 2018 Scientific Images contest! Her photo will be featured at an exhibition on December 11th, where winners will be announced and prizes awarded. jrowley-2018-scientific-image-entry.jpg
  • Jennifer Rowley and Leah Simon participated in the 2018 Illinois Symposium on Reproductive Medicine.
    • Jenny was selected to give an oral presentation on her thesis research: “Low molecular weight hyaluronan exposure compromises oogenesis during in vitro follicle growth”.  She received second prize for her talk. Congratulations Jenny! jr_isrs_2018.png
    • Leah presented a poster on her thesis research: “Examining the effect of age-specific FSH glycoforms on murine secondary follicles”                                                                             ls_isrs_2018.jpg
  • Dr. Duncan represented the Society for the Study of Reproduction at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine annual meeting in Denver, CO. She chaired and spoke at the following events:

    1. Pre-Congress Course, The Germ Cell Environment and Its Impact on Gamete Quality
    2. SSR Symposium, Hallmarks of the Aging Egg: More than Chromosomes and Mitochondria asrm_2018.png
  • Dr. Duncan gave a talk at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, MO entitled “The interplay between the growing oocyte and the ovarian microenvironment during female reproductive aging.”

September 2018

  • A new Duncan Lab publication:
    Duncan, F.E., Romar, R., Gadea, J. et al. "The use of virtual journal club to promote cross-cultural learning in the reproductive sciences". J Assist Reprod Genet. 2018 Sep 24. doi: 10.1007/s10815-018-1309-z
  • Dr. Atsuko Kusuhara presented her MS dissertation that she did in the Duncan lab at the Asian Society for Fertility Preservation meeting on September 22nd & 23rd in New Delhi, India.  She received first prize for oral presentation for her talk entitled “The pubertal transition impacts egg quality parameters.”  Congratulations Atsuko! ak_asfp_2018.png 
  • Dr. Duncan participated in the "Cellular and Molecular Aging of the Reproductive System" workshop as an invited speaker at the National Institute on Aging Division of Aging Biology.

August 2018

  • A new Duncan Lab publication:
    Grover AR, Kimler BF, Duncan FE. "Use of a Small Animal Radiation Research Platform (SARRP) facilitates analysis of systemic versus targeted radiation effects in the mouse ovary". Journal of Ovarian Research. 2018;11:72. doi:10.1186/s13048-018-0442-8.
  • Dr. Duncan traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina and participated in the meeting "Advances in Human Reproduction: New Strategies and New Approaches" held at the Instituto Universitario Hospital Italiano. There she gave three talks:
    1. New insights into the aging oocyte and ovarian microenvironment
    2. The Oncofertility Consortium: a paradigm of how to build a global fertility preservation program
    3. Merging biology, technology, and engineering to advance fertility preservation options
  • While in Buenos Aires, she also visited the Instituto Biologia y Medicina Experimental and gave a talk entitled Female reproductive aging: the gamete and beyond                                                               argentina_fd.jpg


July 2018

  • The Duncan lab participated in the 2018 Women’s Health Science Program whsp2018.jpg
  • Gillian was featured on The Histochemical Society's Facebook page!
  •  gillian.jpg
  • Dr. Duncan and Tracy Zhou were involved in the 2018 Society for the Study of Reproduction Annual Meeting that took place in New Orleans, LA. They took part in the following events:
    1. Dr. Duncan presented a poster titled "The pubertal transition impacts egg quality parameters in the mouse"
    2. Tracy presented her research in a flash talk, as well as a poster titled "O-GlcNAcylation is a highly conserved modification with distinct subcellular targets during meiosis in bovine and human gametes" glcnac-poster.jpg
    3. Dr. Duncan spoke at the SSR Trainee Forum on Career Transitions
    4. Dr. Duncan participated in the SSR Trainee/Mentor Luncheon
  • Work in the Duncan Lab was featured as the cover of Reproduction! repr_cover_june2018_news.jpg

June 2018

  • Congratulations Gillian for being awarded the 2018 Histochemical Society Capstone grant for her project "Optimization of fixation conditions to detect hyaluronan in a tissue-specific manner.” This award, together with the Marcia Storch fellowship, will fund Gillian's research in the lab this summer! Read more about the Histochemical Society Capstone Grant.
  • Many congratulations to Allison Grover, Atsuko Kusuhara, Tracy Zhou and Natalie Quan on graduation! The Duncan lab wishes you all the best on your future endeavors and adventures!
  • dl-graduation2018.jpg
  • Congratulations to Tracy for receiving the first ever Makowski Award for Outstanding MS-RSM student! Read more about the award: Makowski Award for Outstanding MS-RSM Student
  • Congratulations to Gillian Rubenstein for receiving the Marcia L. Storch, MD Scholarship Fund for Undergraduate Women! Gillian is an undergraduate at the University of Michigan who is working in the Duncan Lab this summer. This award will allow her to perform research on hyaluronan in the mouse ovary.​
  • The Duncan Lab enjoyed participating in and presenting posters at the 2018 Annual Reproductive Science and Medicine Summit hosted by the Center for Reproductive Science. Jordan Machlin was an invited panelist on a Scientific Communication panel. She spoke about her experience creating a viral public-facing video on the ovary.

May 2018

  • Congratulations to Jordan Machlin and Jenny Rowley for their successful first MS-RSM thesis committee meetings!
  • Congratulations to Tracy for receiving the 2018 spring/summer Constance Campbell Trainee Travel Award though the Center for Reproductive Science.  This award will allow her to attend and present her work at the 2018 Society for the Study of Reproduction meeting in New Orleans this July.
  • Dr. Duncan gives a talk in Denver, CO to the Colorado Association of Reproductive Technologists.  Her talk was on “Oncofertility advances: merging biology and technology.”
  • Dr. Duncan returns to the Marine Biological Laboratories at Woods Hole to teach in the the 2018 Frontiers in Reproduction program!  She was a student (FIRbee) in the same program when she was a graduate student in 2004!
  • Dr. Duncan participates in the International Summit on Assisted Reproduction and Genetics. Her talk is “Frontiers in fertility preservation: merging biology and technology.”

April 2018

  • A new Duncan Lab publication:
    S.L. Manuel, B.W. Johnson, C.W. Frevert, F.E. Duncan. (2018) "Revisiting the scientific method to improve rigor and reproducibility of immunohistochemistry in reproductive science." Biol Reprod, Apr 21 [Epub ahead of print].
  • Tracy Zhou and Atsuko Kato presented their research at the 2018 Annual Lewis Landsberg Research Day at the Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Congratulations on Sharron Manuel and Leah Simon on successfully completing their first committee meetings on their MS-RSM thesis research projects!
  • A new Duncan Lab publication:
    B.F. Kimler, S.M. Briley, B.W. Johnson, A.G. Armstrong, S. Jasti, F.E. Duncan. (2018) “Radiation-induced follicle loss occurs without overt stromal changes.” Reproduction, In Press.
  • Dr. Duncan gives a talk to undergraduate biology majors at Andrews University in Berrien, MI: “The Oncofertility Consortium: Using Biology and Technology to Advance Fertility Preservation Options.”

March 2018

  • Congratulations to Allison Grover, Atsuko Kusuhara, and Tracy Zhou for successfully defending their MS theses!
  • Check out this awesome pop video about that Jordan Machlin made about the ovary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53Y--dHJk1o&app=desktop
  • Dr. Duncan gives a talk at the Endocrine Society’s 100th Annual Meeting & Expo, Chicago, IL. “Egg quality at age extremes.”

February 2018

  • Congratulations to Dr. Duncan, Dr. Mary Ellen Pavone, and Dr. Michele Pritchard for being awarded an R01 grant from the NICHD!
  • A new Duncan Lab publication:
    F.E. Duncan. (2018) “Mammalian oogenesis and female reproductive aging.” Aging, Epub ahead of print.

January 2018

  • Welcome Jordan Machlin, Ronni Manuel, Jenny Rowley, and Leah Simon to the lab!
  • A new Duncan Lab publication:
    A.G. Armstrong, B.F. Kimler, B.M. Smith, T.K. Woodruff, M.E. Pavone, F.E. Duncan (2018). “Ovarian tissue cryopreservation in young females through the Oncofertility Consortium’s National Physicians Cooperative.” Future Oncology, 14: 363:378.

December 2017

  • A new Duncan Lab publication:
    F.E. Duncan, S. Jasti, A. Paulson, J.M. Kelsh, B. Fegley, J.L. Gerton. (2017) “Age-associated dysregulation of protein metabolism in the mammalian oocyte.” Aging Cell, 16: 1381-1393.

November 2017

  • Duncan lab members present their research at the 2017 Oncofertility Meeting

October 2017

  • Dr. Duncan gives a talk at the ASBMB Special Symposia: Emerging Roles for the Nucleolus, Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, MO “Reproductive age-associated changes in the mammalian oocyte nucleolus.”

September 2017

  • Dr. Duncan is named a 2017 United States Senior Fulbright Scholar!
  • Congratulations to Dr. Duncan and Dr. Mary Ellen Pavone for receiving a Friends of Prentice grant!
  • A new Duncan Lab publication:
    F.E. Duncan (2017) “Egg quality during the pubertal transition – is youth all it’s cracked up to be?” Frontiers in Endocrinology, 8: 226.

July 2017

  • Dr. Duncan joins the Board of Reviewing Editors for Biology of Reproduction
  • Dr. Duncan gives a talk at the Society for the Study of Reproduction 50th Annual Meeting, Washington, DC in the William Hansel Symposium on Ovarian Function. “Inflamm-Aging is a Hallmark of the Ovarian Follicle in Mouse and Human.” 

June 2017

  • Duncan lab members present their research at the 2017 Center for Reproductive Science and Medicine Summit. Congratulations to Tracy Zhou for receiving the Constance Campbell Research Award!
  • Congratulations Natalie Quan for receiving the best presentation award at the Master of Biotechnology Program Industrial Advisory Board!

March 2017

  • Congratulations Dr. Duncan on receiving a research grant from the Pediatric Oncofertility Research Foundation!
  • Dr. Duncan appears on the BBC/The Naked Scientists Podcast, “Is Modern Life Affecting Fertility?” Podcast Link

February 2017

  • Dr. Duncan becomes an Associate Editor for Molecular Human Reproduction

January 2017

  • Dr. Duncan gives a talk at the Southwest Embryology Society, Chandler, AZ “Advances in fertility preservation – from now to next.”
  • Dr. Duncan moderates a panel discussion, “Incorporating Sex into your Research Agenda,” Sex Inclusion in Biomedical Research Workshop & Symposium, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL Panel Discussion Link

December 2016

  • The Duncan Lab receives the 2016 Best Cover Award for the journal Reproduction!

August 2016

  • Dr. Duncan appears on the BBC/The Naked Scientists Radio Podcast, “Why Does Female Fertility Fall with Age?” Podcast Link
  • Our newest publication:
    Briley et al, Reproduction, 2016 received a F1000 Prime Recommendation – thank you Professor Raymond Rodgers!

July 2016

  • Dr. Duncan gives a talk at the Society for the Study of Reproduction Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, “Age-associated alterations in nucleolar structure and function during the active growth phase of the mammalian oocyte.”
  • A new Duncan Lab publication:
    F.E. Duncan, B.F. Kimler, S.M. Briley (2016). “Combating radiation therapy-induced damage to the ovarian environment.” Future Oncology, 12: 1687-90.

June 2016

  • A new Duncan Lab publication:
    S.M. Briley, S. Jasti, J.E. Hornick, J. McCracken, B. Fegley, M.T. Pritchard, F.E. Duncan (2016), “Reproductive age-associated fibrosis in the stroma of the mammalian ovary.” Reproduction, 152: 245-60. 

April 2016

  • A new Duncan Lab publication:
    N.R. Treff, R.L. Krisher, X. Tao, H. Garnsey, C. Bohrer, E. Silva, J. Landis, D. Taylor, R.T. Scott, T.K. Woodruff, F.E. Duncan (2016). “Next generation sequencing based comprehensive chromosome screening in mouse polar bodies, oocytes, and embryos.” Biology of Reproduction, 94: 76.

December 2015

  • Dr. Duncan gives a talk at the Department of Animal Sciences, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska “Why old eggs go bad: meiotic and cytoplasmic determinants of reproductive aging in the female gamete.”
  • A new Duncan Lab publication:
    Slawson and F.E. Duncan (2015). “Sweet action: the dynamics of O-GlcNAcylation during meiosis in mouse oocytes.” Molecular Reproduction and Development, 82: 915.

April 2015

  • Congratulations Dr. Duncan on being awarded a pilot grant through the Center for Reproductive Health after Disease!

January 2015

  • Dr. Duncan joins the Editorial Board of Scientific Reports

November 2014

  • Dr. Duncan gives a talk at the Center for Women’s Reproductive Sciences Research, Washington University, St. Louis, MO. “Why old eggs go bad: meiotic and cytoplasmic determinants of reproductive aging in the female gamete.”
Research
Learn more about funded research projects in the Duncan Lab.