Woodruff is a reproductive scientist and director of the Women's Health Research Institute at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.She coined the term “oncofertility” in 2006, and she’s been at the center of the movement ever since.Five years later, she succeeded: on March 28, the team announced the birth of Evatar, a miniature scale female reproductive tract made of human and mouse tissues.Widely recognized for her work, she holds 10 U.S. patents, and was named in 2013 to Time magazine’s “Most Influential Persons” list.
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The Northwestern Medicine team has created 3D technology called EVATAR, which is made with human tissue and will enable scientists to carry out testing of new drugs for safety and effectiveness on the female reproductive system. “Scientists have created a functioning palm-sized model of the female reproductive tract for use in research.“ The organ models are able to communicate with each other via secreted substances, including hormones, to replicate the functionality of the real organs as closely as possible. Teresa Woodruff, director of the Women's Health Research Institute at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said: "This technology will help us look at drug testing and drug discovery in a brand new way."
Infertile women have been offered new hope after scientists 3D printed ovaries and used them to produce healthy offspring. In a world’s first, US researchers created an artificial ovary and implanted it into a mouse, which went on to produce eggs, mate successfully, and give birth to healthy pups. A scientist holds a bioprosthetic mouse ovary made of gelatin with tweezers Credit: Northwestern University More “The real breakthrough here is we’re building a real ovarian prosthesis and the goal of this project is to be able to restore fertility to young cancer patients who have been sterilised by their cancer treatment,” said Dr Teresa Woodruff, a reproductive scientist director of the Women’s Health Research Institute, at Northwestern University, in Illinois. Many cancer treatments can impact fertility because women are born with all their eggs and are unable to produce more if they are damaged.