Marla Mendelson, MD
Co-Director

Dr. Mendelson is the Medical Director of the Northwestern Adult Congenital Heart Center and the Center for Women’s Cardiovascular Health of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute. She founded both the Heart Disease and Pregnancy program and the Adult Congenital Heart program over 25 years ago.  She continues to direct the Northwestern Heart Disease and Pregnancy program.  She is an associate professor of medicine and pediatrics at the Feinberg School of Medicine.  Dr. Mendelson's special interests include adults with congenital heart disease.  She cares for women with pre-existing heart disease during pregnancy and those who develop heart disease during the course of a pregnancy. For women with congenital heart disease, she provides preconception planning, contraceptive counseling, and care of women through pregnancy working closely with the woman's obstetrician.  She has lectured locally, nationally and internationally on the subject and directs courses regarding the care of these unique patient populations. Dr. Mendelson was recently appointed the co-director of the Women’s Health Research Institute at Northwestern.

Megan Connolly, B.A.
Research Coordinator

Megan Connolly is the research coordinator for the Women's Health Research Institute and serves as a liaison between its clinical partners.  She supports the research efforts of the Institute by facilitating study recruitment and enrollment and works closely with the institutional review board to ensure compliance on the local, state, and federal levels. 

Megan earned her B.A. degree from Argosy University in Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Management. As a two-time cancer survivor,  she is a strong advocate for transformative and innovative clinical research. 

Nicole C. Woitowich, PhD
Associate Director

Dr. Nicole Woitowich is the Associate Director for the Women’s Health Research Institute at Northwestern University. She is actively transforming the landscape of women’s health through her research, advocacy, and outreach activities. She implements programming which informs the scientific and medical communities, as well as the public, about the influences of sex and gender on health and disease. In addition, Dr. Woitowich serves as the Director for the Illinois Women’s Health Registry, which promotes the participation of women in clinical research and evaluates state-wide women’s health trends. As a former Presidential Management Fellow awardee, she remains politically active and advocates on behalf of women’s health research. In 2018, she drafted legislation to recognize January 25th as National Women’s Health Research Day which was introduced in Congress by Sen. Duckworth and Rep. Schakowsky, and locally endorsed by Mayor Emanuel. While formally trained as biochemist, her current research explores the impact of science policy on research practices and gender biases in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medical (STEMM) fields. Dr. Woitowich has held a long-standing interest in the advancement and retention of women in the STEMM pipeline and has created programs both at Northwestern University and beyond to this end.  In 2015, she was nominated to serve as a member of the Public Outreach Committee for the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, due to her ability to communicate science to diverse audiences and her passion for making science publicly accessible. Through this role, she served as a co-organizer for SciOut18, the first national meeting of science outreach practitioners in the United States. 

Parth JoshiBrown, MA
Program Assistant

Parth JoshiBrown is the program coordinator for the Women's Health Research Institute. Parth has a hand in coordinating communication and initiatives for the Institute including the monthly Women’s Health Research Forums and the Women’s Health Science Program. Parth earned his B.A. from Loyola University Chicago and an M.A. in Humanities from the University of Chicago, and has worked with health-focused organizations such as the American Red Cross, Relay for Life, and GlobeMed.

Teresa K Woodruff, PhD
Founder, Director

Teresa K. Woodruff Ph.D. is the Dean and Associate Provost for Graduate Education in The Graduate School at Northwestern University. She is also the Thomas J. Watkins Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, the Vice Chair for Research and the Chief of the Division of Reproductive Science in Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Feinberg School of Medicine. She is Professor of Molecular Biosciences in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering. She is the Director of the Center for Reproductive Science (CRS), Founder and Director of the Women’s Health Research Institute (WHRI), and Director of the Oncofertility Consortium. She is an internationally recognized expert in ovarian biology and, in 2006, coined the term “oncofertility” to describe the merging of two fields: oncology and fertility. She now heads the Oncofertility Consortium, an interdisciplinary team of biomedical and social scientist experts from across the country. She has been active in education not only at the professional level but also with high school students. To this end, she founded and directs the Oncofertility Saturday Academy (OSA), one of several high school outreach programs that engages girls in basic and medical sciences.  She was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Mentoring in an oval office ceremony by President Obama (2011). Widely recognized for her work, Woodruff holds 10 U.S. Patents, and in 2013 she was named to Time magazine’s ‘Most Influential Persons’ list. Some of her recent awards and honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship (2017), the Society for Endocrinology Transatlantic Medal (2017), and a Leadership Award from the Endocrine Society (2017).  She has two honorary degrees including one from the University of Birmingham, College of Medical, UK (2016). She is an elected fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She is past-president of the Endocrine Society and championed the new NIH policy that mandates the use of females in fundamental research.  She is civically active and is an elected member of The Economic Club of Chicago and on the school board of the Chicago-based Young Women’s Leadership Charter School.