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Program in Reproductive Sciences

About the Program


Message from the Program Director:

 We are entering an exciting era in Reproductive Science because we can now bring all the molecular knowledge and tools developed over the past two decades to bear on the complex problems of reproductive development and function. Our new knowledge will in turn provide the foundation for research into the pathogenesis and treatment of reproductive problems such as infertility, dysmenorrhea, uterine fibroids, adverse pregnancy outcomes including preterm birth and intrauterine growth restriction, as well as cancers of reproductive organs and gender based diseases of the immune and other systems. The Program in Reproductive Sciences is designed to train scientists to deal in a comprehensive manner with the fundamental basis of these problems. It leads to the Ph.D. degree in Cell and Developmental Biology, Reproductive Sciences.

This program is unique among graduate programs associated with schools of medicine in its focus on the mechanisms that govern human reproductive development and disease from molecules to the organism. Our goal is to provide the fundamental knowledge and technologies necessary for research into the complex processes that lead to the development of reproductive organs, their maintenance, function and pathology in the adult and, in the female, the development and birth of the infant. To do this we must integrate knowledge from several disciplines including molecular and cellular biology, developmental biology, physiology epidemiology, pathology, endocrinology, immunology, and cancer biology. Our faculty is drawn from all these disciplines and is utilizing new technologies such as nuclear magnetic resonance, X-ray crystallography, genomics, proteomics and metabonomics for identification and characterization of the interacting molecules that govern complex reproductive processes. New imaging modalities such as confocal and multiphoton microscopy, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and small animal fluorescent whole body imaging allow visualization of developmental and pathological processes in vivo. The effect of maternal obesity on the fetus and early development is also an area of intense clinical and basic science interest at the University of Colorado. Reproductive Sciences faculty are using innovative technology to address important issues surrounding maternal-fetal metabolic adaptation to altered nutritional status and post-natal infant growth at the molecular and organ level.  Researchers are focused on maternal-fetal metabolism, obesity-science, and developmental biology utilizing human physiology, animal modeling, epigenetics, and epidemiology to find and develop collaborative approaches to understanding the basis for how obesity develops beginning in fetal life and early infancy that affect the population over the lifespan.

Both basic and clinical scientists are part of the faculty of this program, offering students a real opportunity to learn how fundamental research can be translated to the clinic and how to identify clinical problems that will benefit by targeted fundamental research. Seminars and journal clubs help us to develop approaches that go from the bench to the bedside and back again. This interdisciplinary program interfaces with the strong programs on this campus in cell and developmental biology, clinical endocrinology, immunology, molecular biology, pathology and physiology as they relate to reproductive systems. In addition, our institutional culture of amicable interdisciplinary collaborations offers many opportunities for students and their mentors to explore and expand the boundaries of their knowledge.


Andrew P. Bradford, Ph.D. Director, Program in Reproductive Sciences