This weekend, the Oncofertility Consortium, along with the Institute for Women’s Health Research, is hosting the fifth annual Oncofertility Saturday Academy (OSA) at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. OSA is an informal science education program designed to expose high school girls to the wonders of science and medicine through hands-on and experiential activities. These high school girls come from the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School, on the near south side of Chicago. Through a rigorous application program, 16 juniors and 16 seniors are selected to participate in OSA. Tomorrow, the juniors will participate in rotations in the Woodruff Lab, learning about cutting-edge fertility preservation techniques. Additionally, the juniors will be paired with students in the new Physician Assistant Program at Northwestern University, who will lead a workshop on birth control and STD prevention. The seniors will be paired with medical students for “Doctor for a Day.” Each student will learn how to administer a basic exam and will gain exposure to the medical field. Both juniors and seniors will conclude the day by hearing the story of a cancer patient survivor’s quest to preserve her fertility.
To learn more about this innovative high school program click HERE. The term “oncofertility” was coined by Dr. Teresa K. Woodruff at Northwestern to describe the merging of two disciplines: oncology and fertility preservation. Many cancer treatments result in infertility and her research has focused on ways to preserve fertility in young women with cancer.