Meet the 2021 Laureates: Teresa K. Woodruff, PhD


Gerald D. Aurbach Award for Outstanding Translational Research

Teresa K. Woodruff, PhD 


Teresa K. Woodruff, PhD, the 2021 recipient of the Gerald D. Aurbach Award for Outstanding Translational Research, was recently appointed provost at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich., following a 25-year career at Northwestern University in Chicago, Ill. A past president of the Endocrine Society and the former editor-in-chief of Endocrinology, Dr. Woodruff has made seminal discoveries about gonadal structure, function, and hormones, as well as female fertility and its regulation.

How has the Endocrine Society supported your professional development/career journey?

“The Endocrine Society provided the intellectual connections that were enabling to my career success and imprinted on me the value of and provided pathways to move between the fundamental sciences and clinical need.”

Her research seeks to understand the development of the ovarian follicle, identify markers and determinants of oocyte quality, and discover how this basic biology can be applied to improve patient care. Her impactful basic science studies and their societal implications led her to collaborate with physicians, scientists, and educators and other healthcare providers to provide fertility preservation options to young men and women with fertility-threatening conditions, especially those with treatable cancers.

She founded and directs a worldwide consortium dedicated to a field she largely defined —oncofertility — a discipline at the intersection of oncology and reproductive medicine that translates basic discoveries to expand fertility options for young cancer survivors. Woodruff is also an extraordinarily strong advocate for women in science, an outstanding mentor, and a national leader in driving federal policy changes that have resulted in the inclusion of sex as a biological variable in research investigations. For her outstanding research in reproductive endocrinology, and her partnerships with interdisciplinary teams to translate that research to improved patient care, the Endocrine Society is pleased to present Teresa Woodruff with the 2021 Gerald D. Aurbach Award.

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