Skip to main content


The Center for Reproductive Science (CRS) has had a rich history that has served to keep the reproductive science and medicine community at Northwestern University visible, viable and valuable for decades. Here is a timeline charting key events in CRS history.

  • 1974. Under the guidance of Professor Neena Schwartz, the efforts in reproductive biology research at Northwestern University were organized into a Program for Reproductive Research. This program catalyzed the acquisition of external research grants, the recruitment of new faculty and the establishment of training programs in the reproductive sciences.Professor Neena Schwartz with a student in the lab in the 1970s
  • 1979.  Professor Schwartz established the Minisymposium on Reproductive Biology. This annual event was established to provide trainees with an opportunity early in their career to present their research and gain experience in moderating, organizing, and conducting a major scientific meeting. This event - now called the Reproductive Science and Medicine Summit – has run consecutively for more than 30 years.
  • 1987 – 2003. In recognition of the increasingly multidisciplinary nature of reproductive science and medicine, the Northwestern University Center for Reproductive Science (CRS) was formally established with Professor Schwartz as the Director. Weekly research updates delivered by CRS trainees and a formal seminar series entitled Lectures in Reproductive Science were established and continue to this day as long-standing CRS traditions. With the purpose of strengthening collaboration, Dr. Schwartz ensured that CRS membership consisted of faculty from across Northwestern on both the Evanston and Chicago campuses.Professors Theresa Woodruff, Neena Schwartz and Kelly Mayo
  • 2003 – 2015.  Professor Kelly Mayo and Professor Teresa Woodruff assumed CRS leadership upon the retirement of Professor Schwartz, serving as the Director and Associate Director, respectively. During their leadership, the CRS faculty increased membership and expanded to include investigators at Lurie Children’s hospital (currently Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute) and DePaul University. The CRS also administered several large program projects. In addition, CRS expanded learning and training opportunities for both students and faculty with the founding of the Illinois Symposium in Reproductive Sciences, a regional meeting for research on reproduction across the Upper Midwest.
  • 2015 – 2020. In 2015, Professor Teresa Woodruff became the CRS Director, and in addition to carrying on and expanding the events established by her predecessors, she has added new dimensions to CRS. For example, under Professor Woodruff’s leadership, the CRS developed the first-ever Master of Science in Reproductive Science and Medicine (MS-RSM) program, which is launching its inaugural class in Fall 2016. The MS-RSM program is focused on human reproductive health and provides students with unique exposure to reproductive science and medicine through coursework, laboratory instruction and CRS programming. The MS-RSM represents the CRS at its best, as the program is team taught by CRS faculty, staff and trainees who are all committed to keeping the reproductive science and medicine.
  • 2020 - present. In 2020, Dr. Teresa Woodruff named Drs. Francesca E. Duncan and J. Julie Kim as the new Co-Directors of CRS upon her departure to assume the position of Provost at Michigan State University.