Fellowship Research Opportunities:
Research opportunities and mentorship will be provided by all members of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Chicago Medicine and NorthShore University Health Systems. Progress of the fellow towards the goal of a thesis and a published manuscript will be evaluated with weekly lab meetings during the laboratory year and with a quarterly review of progress during the junior and senior clinical years. Possible research mentors and their projects, or areas of interest, are listed below:
Research Mentors & Facilities:
Ernst Lengyel MD, PhD., Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Principal Investigator, The Lengyel Laboratory, University of Chicago Medical Center.
Dr. Lengyel’s Gynecologic Oncology laboratory is located in the Gordon Center for Integrative Science (GCIS). There are currently 5 postdoctoral fellows, 1 junior faculty member, 1 graduate student in Cancer Biology and 2 research technicians. The laboratory is approximately 1,800 sq. ft. of space, in close proximity to such basic science laboratories as Biochemistry, Chemistry, and the Ben May Institute for Cancer Research. This location provides a solid structure for inter-departmental collaboration.
Major research interests: to understand the molecular mechanisms of ovarian cancer cell invasion and metastasis, to identify new targets for the treatment of ovarian cancer (c-Met, a5-integrin), to understand the role of stroma in promoting ovarian cancer metastasis by studying the role of c-Met and its ligand HGF/SF, and different miRNAs in normal and cancer-associated stroma, to determine how adhesion receptors (integrins) and invasion associated proteases (urokinase) cooperate in the attachment and invasion of ovarian cancer.
Stacy Lindau, MD, MAPP, Associate Professor, Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Medicine (Geriatrics), University of Chicago Medical Center, Director of the Program in Integrative Sexual Medicine (PRISM).
Dr. Lindau directs the Program in Integrative Sexual Medicine (PRISM), an interdisciplinary clinic to address sexuality issues for women and girls with cancer and elevated genetic cancer risk. Her major research interests include understanding how gynecologic cancer and cancer treatment affect female sexual functioning and other aspects of female sexuality.
Dr. Lindau is also PI of the South Side Health and Vitality Studies (SSHVS), a community-engaged program of research at the individual, household, health system, and community levels to monitor health and to mitigate a long history of health inequalities in this population. Cancer epidemiologists are actively involved in the design of this study where detailed data will be collected about environmental, behavioral and genetic factors related to cancer risk, as well as cancer prevalence and incidence. These activities present opportunity for secondary data analysis in collaboration with Dr. Lindau and other researchers (cancer genetics, bioanthropology, mathematics and statistics, pharmacology, gerontology) to further understand the biological pathways through which social conditions might influence cancer risk or cancer incidence.
Laboratory facilities include a computer laboratory with multiple cubicle workspaces, computers and computer support provided by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. This space is directly adjacent to the University of Chicago Department of Health Studies Biostatistics Laboratory.
Gustavo Rodriguez, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Section of Gynecologic Oncology, NorthShore University Health Systems
Dr. Rodriguez and his laboratory, which is located in the NSUHS Research Institute, are dedicated to developing an effective pharmacologic approach for the chemoprevention of ovarian and uterine cancer. Dr. Rodriguez spearheaded the study in primates that led to the discovery that oral contraceptive (OC) progestins induce apoptosis in the ovarian epithelium. This discovery led to a new hypothesis regarding the biologic mechanism underlying the marked 30-50% reduction in ovarian cancer risk associated with routine use of OCs, and opened the door to the development of progestins as chemopreventive agents for ovarian and now endometrial cancer. Dr. Rodriguez’s animal work has also included pioneering studies using the chicken ovarian cancer animal model. Dr. Rodriguez previously worked on projects elucidating the molecular biology of ovarian and endometrial cancer. He is collaborating closely with a team from Walter Reed on a Department of Defense-funded Program Project Grant. He is project director of a set of aims directed toward development of progestins and vitamin D for the chemoprevention of ovarian and uterine cancer These studies include: in vitro studies designed to elucidate the molecular effects of progestins and vitamin D on human ovarian and uterine epithelial cells, and in vivo studies in mice and chickens, as well as pilot studies in women, including cooperative group studies such as GOG 214 (Rodriguez, PI).
Richard Koya, MD, PhD (Professor), and Kunle Odunsi, MdD, PhD, (AbbVie Distinguished Service Professor), Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Section of Gynecologic Oncology, University of Chicago Medical Center
Sridevi Challa, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Section of Gynecologic Oncology, University of Chicago Medical Center
Nita Lee, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Section of Gynecologic Oncology, University of Chicago Medical Center
NSUHS Research Institute