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Reproductive Science (Cluster)

Reproductive science and medicine encompass the study of endocrinology, gonad development, gametogenesis and embryogenesis, and reproductive tract biology. These areas of research influence health and disease, as they are fundamental to our understanding of fertility and infertility, contraception, infectious diseases, pregnancy, fetal origins of adult disease, and trans-generational epigenetic inheritance. In addition, reproductive science has broad general health consequences because it is well known that gonadal hormones regulate sexual, bone, cardiovascular, immune, and cognitive functions.

Northwestern University is at the forefront of reproductive research, medicine, and technology. The Center for Reproductive Science (CRS) at Northwestern University was formed in 1987 and currently consists of almost 200 faculty members and 100 trainees across basic science and clinical departments. As a group, these researchers have received millions of dollars in research funding from government agencies and private foundations - enabling significant inroads into research on reproductive hormone signaling mechanisms, reproductive tract conditions, infectious diseases, determinants of gamete quality, ex vivo integrated reproductive tract systems, and ovarian cancer.  

Students in the Reproductive Science and Medicine cluster will partake in these research endeavors, can elect to partake in reproductive-focused courses, and will have full access to a wide away of programs and services offered through the CRS.

Become a Reproductive Science and Medicine Cluster Member now!

Funding Opportunities

This cluster has opportunities to receive training funding in the form of T32 training grant support, research merit awards, and travel funding.

  • Predoctoral Training Program in Reproductive Science, Medicine, and Technology
    • Pre-doctoral cluster students who are entering their 2nd or 3rd year of graduate studies in one of the following graduate programs (DGP, IBiS, Chemistry, BME, MSTP, NUIN) can receive up to 2 years of support that covers, tuition and stipend, unique collaborative training opportunities, professional development, and travel.
  • Center for Reproductive Science Awards
    • Research merit awards are presented to trainees with the best oral and poster presentations at CRS sponsored symposia. Additionally, students traveling to present their research at scientific meetings can apply to receive travel funds through CRS which are awarded twice a year.
      • Constance Campbell Memorial Research Awards: The Constance Campbell Memorial Fund supports oral and poster research awards which are granted at our annual Reproductive Science and Medicine Summit to the top trainee presentations.
      • Constance Campbell Memorial Travel Awards: The Constance Campbell Memorial Fund supports Travel Awards which trainees may apply for. Applications for the travel awards are open twice a year (fall, spring). This award allows for trainees to travel to professional scientific meetings to present their research to the broader scientific community.

Training Opportunities

  • Reproductive Research Updates: Each week for over 30 years, the CRS has hosted Reproductive Research Updates - a forum in which CRS trainees present their research to Northwestern scientists across the Evanston and Chicago campuses.
  • Translational Lectures in Reproductive Science: The CRS sponsors the Translational Lectures in Reproductive Science (LRS), a seminar series that takes place quarterly with lectures by luminaries in the field of reproductive science and medicine. Our named lectures include: Erwin Goldberg Lecture in Male Reproduction, Neena B. Schwartz Memorial Lectureship in Reproductive Science, Danielle Maatouk Memorial Lectureship, and the CRS Alumni Lecture.
  • Career Catalysts: The Center for Reproductive Science Career Catalyst Series is a monthly seminar that provides trainees with a mix of professional development workshops, networking, and outreach activities. This series is aimed at preparing students for success, from discussions on diverse career paths, to workshops in PubMed and preparing manuscripts for publication.
  • The Reproductive Science and Medicine Summit: This annual event showcases reproductive science and medicine research conducted at Northwestern and surrounding Chicago area institutions. An organizing committee composed of CRS trainees is central to the success of this event. The Summit includes distinguished internal and external speakers, and trainee oral and poster presentations. Trainee merit awards for this event have been funded through the Constance Campbell Memorial Fund since 1989.
  • Upper Midwest Summit for Reproductive Science (UMSRS): This event will convene trainees, junior and senior faculty, and other research staff and scientists from institutions across the Upper Midwest region (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and Wisconsin) to foster the exchange of scientific information in the reproductive sciences, facilitate the training and career development of future reproductive scientists, and leverage our collective institutional strengths to maintain the region as preeminent leaders in this critical research field. 

Visit Planit-Purple for more information on upcoming events or to suggest a speaker, please email the CRS Program Coordinator.

Professional Development

  • Teaching Assistantships: CRS offers cluster trainees the opportunity to develop their teaching skills by supporting trainee TAs for our reproductive science and medicine class offerings. These TA-ships can fulfill PhD graduate program requirements or for compensation.
  • Sub-committee Engagement: CRS has three leadership subcommittees in place to enhance the CRS community's ability to leverage its resources to make a greater impact and ensure that we continue doing good science and science for good. Our sub-committee focuses are on Community Engagement, Programming and Events, and Diversity.

Email the CRS Program Coordinator for more information about these opportunities.

Who to Contact

Please contact Pamela Monahan, PhD, the CRS Director of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs, or the Program Directors, listed below, with questions about this the RSM Cluster. Or, explore the Center for Reproductive Science website for more information.

  • Julie Kim, PhD, Susy Y. Hung Research Professor, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, co-Director, Center for Reproductive Science
  • Francesca Duncan, PhD, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, co-Director, Center for Reproductive Science

Although this cluster does not require specific coursework, we offer courses focused on human reproductive health that RSM cluster members are encouraged to take. CRS’s graduate courses offer a broad range of study in human reproductive health from didactic foundational courses to advanced topics and professional training. Courses are led by bench and clinical science educators and are designed to provide a broad range of study in human reproductive development and health from foundational courses to advanced topics and professional training.

Foundational Courses

REPR_SCI 405: Reproductive Physiology & Endocrinology Foundations (Fall)

REPR_SCI 407: Reproductive Physiology & Endocrinology in Society (Fall)

REPR_SCI 440: Reproductive Technologies Laboratory (Fall)

Advanced Topic Courses

REPR_SCI 406: Emerging Research in Reproductive Science & Medicine (Winter)

REPR_SCI 415: Medical Management of Fertility (Winter)

REPR_SCI 420: Human Reproductive Health & Disease (Spring)

REPR_SCI 430: Translational Topics in Fertility Preservation & Oncofertility (Spring)

Professional Training Courses

REPR_SCI 425: Responsible Conduct of Research in Reproductive Science (Fall)

REPR_SCI 455: Science Communication in Reproductive Science and Medicine (Winter)

REPR_SCI 497: Assessment & Career Planning (Spring)


Visit the CRS Graduate Coursework website to learn more about these classes.

For more information on class registration contact Pamela Monahan, PhD, CRS Director of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs (