Faculty Forum Online: MIT’s Research in Women’s Health

by Jay London on March 6, 2014 · 4 comments

in Alumni Life, Campus Culture, Events, Health, Learning, Research

Research focused on some women’s health issues, such as breast cancer, receives significant attention in scientific and funding communities while other areas, such as gynecological disorders, garner much less interest and support.

These disparities led MIT Department of Biological Engineering Professor Linda Griffith to co-found the MIT Center for Gynepathology Research, an interdisciplinary research group that brings new engineering and science approaches into the underserved area of gynepathology.

In the March 2014 Faculty Forum Online, Griffith shared insights into new techniques for attacking endometriosis and discussed research on systems biology and tissue engineering that has impact on clinical practice in gynecology.

Following her comments, Griffith—a renowned expert on regenerative medicine—took live questions from the worldwide MIT community. Enjoy a sample or watch the full webcast then continue the discussion in the comments below.


Linda Griffith

About Linda Griffith

Professor of Biological and Mechanical Engineering Linda Griffith’s research focuses on tissue engineering, which the manipulation of cells using to form multi-dimensional structures that carry out the functions of normal tissue in vitro or in vivo. Her work focuses on controlling the spatial and temporal presentation of molecular ligands and physical cues which are known to influence cell behavior.

Griffith is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the Popular Science Brilliant 10 Award, NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, and the MIT Class of 1960 Teaching Innovation Award. As chair of MIT’s Undergraduate Curriculum Committee for Biological Engineering, she led development of the Biological Engineering undergraduate degree program—MIT’s first new undergraduate major in more than 40 years.

She earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgia Tech and a doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley, both in chemical engineering.


MIT Department of Biological Engineering profile
MIT Center for Gynepathology Research

Cancer Fight: Unclear Tests for New Drug,” New York Times
MIT bioengineer works to unravel endometriosis,” Boston Globe
Scientist takes aim at her longtime silent scourge,” Boston Globe

About Faculty Forum Online

Eight times per season, the Faculty Forum Online presents compelling interviews with faculty on timely and relevant topics. Viewers watch and participate in live 30-minute interviews via interactive chat. Since its inception in 2011, archival editions of these programs have been viewed more than 50,000 times.

For the 2013-2014 season, the Alumni Association will produce three public service-themed evening editions, titled “One Community Together in Service.”

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathryn James March 10, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Some years ago at an MIT reunion (I received three degrees in EE from MIT), I learned that MIT was researching the Y chromosome to try to solve male fertility problems. What a breath of fresh air it is to learn that MIT is finally working on women’s health issues. Hurray! Keep up the good work.


Carol Willing March 11, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Thank you for an informative Faculty Forum. Fascinating research and new major for learning about complex women’s health issues. Having friends coping with endometriosis, I am pleased that MIT is taking a leadership role in understanding the causes and educating others. Thanks for sharing 🙂


Christine Shadle March 12, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Thank you for an excellent talk.
Near the end you said that endo is an inflammatory disease, and then, that “many other immune diseases wax and wane with pregnancy.” I find this confusing — I thought at least one hypothesis about endo was that it’s not an auto-immune disease — if anything the immune system is less vigilant than it should be. Is it significant that you said “immune diseases” and not “auto-immune diseases”? Perhaps there’s a medical definition here that I don’t know (I’m a EE).


ada December 7, 2015 at 3:33 am

if you have uti, don’t worry, if it can’t be cured by antibiotics, with not serious situation, you can cured by Diuretic and Anti-inflammatory Pill, it is a type of TCM, hope you can be cured, also for preventions, you can try to keep personal hygiene well, don’t eat spicy or stimulating food, hope you can be recovered sooner.


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