Speaker Profile

Ph.D., Assistant Professor/Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan

The current research focus in our laboratory is premature ovarian insufficiency (POI), which is a common complication of cytotoxic treatments due to extreme ovarian sensitivity to chemotherapy and radiation. POI causes sterility, along with consequences of lost ovarian endocrine function: premature osteopenia, muscle wasting, and accelerated cardiovascular diseases. The unique challenges associated with fertility preservation in females are primarily due to limited and non-renewable ovarian reserve. None of the clinically available fertility preservation options can restore the lost ovarian endocrine function and none are suitable for children and young adults. To address some of current limitations in the area of fertility and ovarian endocrine function preservation we engineered a biomaterial-based matrix to support the development of ovarian follicles cultured in vitro or transplanted in vivo. Ariella Shikanov joined the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan in 2012 as an Assistant Professor. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University in Chicago in a multidisciplinary collaboration called the Oncofertility Consortium, which was created to address infertility induced by chemotherapy in cancer survivors. Dr. Shikanov is the recipient of The Harwell Foundation (2014) and NSF CAREER (2016) awards.


Fertility and Ovarian Endocrine Function Preservation in Young Women
This talk will cover recent developments in efficient fertility and ovarian endocrine function preservation for young women facing sterilizing treatments. Premature ovarian insufficiency causes sterility, premature osteopenia, muscle wasting, and accelerated cardiovascular diseases. Using biomimetic hydrogels we created artificial constructs that restore ovarian biological function in vitro and in vivo.

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