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Systems Biology Approaches to Address Clinical Problems in Reproductive Health



3:30pm - 4:30pm ET


Zoom Link
Meeting ID: 982 7908 4830
Passcode: 646418

Reproductive health is essential to the survival and success of humanity. However, in comparison to other biological systems, the science of reproduction remains relatively nascent in its understanding of the mechanisms of prevalent diseases, thereby hindering the identification of appropriate therapeutic targets and treatment options. Leveraging systems biology approaches across multiple biological scales will allow for significant innovation in this space, including the development of novel birth controls, understanding the interplay between the immune system and reproductive states, and developing models for interrogating and informing the treatment of diseased tissues.

In this talk, I will discuss my recent work using single-cell RNA-sequencing to better understand several reproductive tissues, with a focus on the human lactating mammary gland. The MIT Milk Study is the first single-cell systems level study that deeply characterizes cells in human breast milk (hBM) longitudinally across a large cohort of donors, revealing both remarkable donor-to-donor stability and a spectrum of cell states and gene programs in secretory epithelial cells and macrophages that support healthy lactation across time. This work underscores the role that transcriptomics, particularly when leveraged in longitudinal patient cohorts, can play in building a better understanding of health and disease. Future work with hBM-derived spheroids and organoids will seek to systematically understand factors that impact the immense secretory capacity of luminal mammary cells and the impact of macrophages on tissue function.

About the Speaker(s)

Brittany Goods Th'11
Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, MIT

Dr. Goods is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Broad Institute, the Ragon Institute, and the Institute for Medical Engineering and Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Goods received her PhD in biological engineering from MIT in 2017 and her BE from Thayer School of Engineering in 2011. She is broadly interested in creating tools, approaches, and the requisite biological knowledge to address pressing clinical problems in reproductive health and immunology.


For more information, contact Ashley Parker at