Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility
At The Ohio State University Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, our goal is to help guide infertile patients through the reproduction process. Our objectives are to provide state-of-the-art clinical services, innovative basic research and an informative and challenging teaching environment for residents and medical students.
The division has three full-time faculty members with decades of experience:
- Douglas Danforth, PhD, senior scientist – Dr. Danforth’s primary educational research interests focus on simulation in medical education. He uses virtual worlds, such as Second Life, to provide unique simulations of real life scenarios to model doctor-patient interaction and clinical diagnosis skills. Dr. Danforth is director of the Independent Study Program in the College of Medicine. He helps students use highly structured objectives, resource guides, web and computer-based materials to learn on their own.
- Elizabeth A. Kennard, MD, associate professor and director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility – Dr. Kennard is a nationally respected resource in reproductive endocrinology and infertility who consults with other physicians on the latest treatment options for families facing infertility issues.
A principal goal of our research is the development of virtual patient simulations for medical education. These “virtual patients” are controlled by artificial intelligence, allowing our students to engage in a natural language conversation with the patient to detect symptoms and develop relevant diagnoses and treatments. Virtual world medical simulations enable our students to rehearse professional behaviors in a risk-free environment.
Our staff are also pioneering technological advances in patient care. Care facilities are housed at Ohio Reproductive Medicine, central Ohio’s first and only in vitro fertilization program of assisted reproductive technologies. We treat a wide array of broad-based, reproductive endocrine patients.
Drs. Friedman and Kennard participate in weekly gynecological conferences with residents, and all division faculty provide resident didactic lectures. We also serve as research mentors for resident clinical research projects.
Division of Reproductive Biology and Vaccine Research
The Ohio State University Division of Reproductive Biology and Vaccine Research is primarily involved in peptide therapeutics and cancer vaccine research. We investigate the development of procedures for active immunization against self and non-self molecules as a means to treat cancer and infectious diseases.
Research is our division’s principal activity, and our mission is wide ranging. It includes:
- Conducting basic and clinical cancer research that leads to the development of effective, immune-based cancer therapies and diagnostic tests
- Teaching the next generation of translational researchers
- Enlisting the talents and resources of others who share our vision of improving cancer care
- Continuing a strong interdisciplinary research program in vaccine development and protein engineering
- Developing therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune diseases and viral infections
Research funding has come in the form of continuous support for vaccine development by the National Cancer Institute, The National Institutes of Health and Omnimmune Corp, and we have secured permanent funding from the Ohio Board of Regents for vaccine development and protein engineering. Projects active within our division include:
- Development of Vaccines (HER-2/neu) for the Prevention or Therapy of Cancer
- Development of Angiogenic (VEGF) Inhibitors for Cancer Therapy
- Phase 1 Clinical Trial: Active Immunotherapy with HER-2 Multiepitope Vaccine
Our division also offers a superior educational program for graduate students and undergraduate students seeking elective experience in research, overseen by Director Pravin T.P. Kaumaya, PhD. For instance, several graduate students from the Department of Microbiology and the Ohio State Biochemistry Program work on vaccine development, and both anti-cancer and anti-viral vaccines are under development by students and staff.
Graduate students working toward a Master of Science degree or PhD in basic science departments use our research laboratories, and physicians working toward a Master of Medical Science degree also are accepted.
The division also works to establish links with the pharmaceutical industry through license agreements from the patents held by division faculty to provide research funds for new development and a royalty stream to the university, college and department for both research and education.