Dr. Woodruff is the Thomas J. Watkins Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and serves as Vice Chair of Research (OB/GYN) and Chief of the Division of Reproductive Research, Feinberg School of Medicine. She is also the Professor of Molecular Biosciences at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University. 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. Breakthroughs in ovarian tissue cryopreservation and in vitro follicle maturation are brightening the outlook for preserving fertility in young women with cancer and other diseases that are treated with life-saving but potent therapies. Based on promising science being done in her lab, Woodruff was awarded a prestigious Roadmap Grant from the NIH to advance her work in 2007. She now heads the Oncofertility Consortium, an interdisciplinary team of biomedical and social scientist experts across the country and serves as the Director of the Women's Health Research Institute.
Dr. Woodruff also is a skilled and committed educator, encouraging young women to pursue careers in the sciences, and has developed the Women's Health Science Program housed in the Institute. Her many awards include the U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching (2011), Distinguised Woman in Medicine and Science from Northwestern (2009), Feinberg School's Faculty Mentor of the Year (2009), and Northwestern Distinguished Alumnae (2008). She was also honored nationally with awards from the American Women in Science (Innovator Award), and American Medical Womens Association (Gender Equity Award) in 2009. She is unwavering in her encouragement of students’ and colleagues’ professional growth, and she harnesses this same passion as she nurtures the growth of the Women’s Health Research Institute.