New Reproductive Sciences course!

The course “Human Reproductive Physiology” (M94 ReprSci 5000) is being offered by the Center for Reproductive Health Sciences within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. This course is intended for students in DBBS and BME graduate students, and advanced biology/pre-health undergraduate students with an interest in reproductive physiology.  

Through this course, students will learn from both basic science and clinician experts working at the cutting edge of research and practice in key areas including gametogenesis, fertilization/contraception, immunology and fetal programming, obstetrics, gynecology, endocrinology, assisted reproductive technology, and transgender health.

The Human Reproductive Physiology course is designed to give students a comprehensive foundation in human reproductive physiology through a variety of learning modalities. The course focuses primarily on normal physiology of human reproductive systems, although some lecturers will introduce pathologies as a way to strengthen subject matter understanding. This course aims to deepen student knowledge of reproductive systems down to the cellular and molecular level in order to 1) connect them with their own physiology, and 2) broaden their understanding of the biological systems integral to the human experience. The course material will provide students with foundational knowledge in reproductive physiology that will help prepare them for medical school, biomedical research, and careers in the field of reproductive sciences.

While primarily lecture-based, this course also includes discussion of peer-reviewed journal articles and dialog with lecturers of pre-assigned questions. These additional modalities are intended to give students an opportunity to apply their new knowledge of lecture-informed material in the classroom.

Lecture topics will occur in three modules of varying lengths throughout the semester. Clinical topics will be incorporated throughout the course (e.g., infertility and ART, contraception, preterm birth, labor dystocia, infection, etc.).

  • Module I – “Development to Reproduction” – gonads and gametogenesis, puberty, hormonal cycles and neuroendocrinology, fertilization, infertility, assisted reproductive technology, and contraception.
  • Module II – “Embryogenesis and Gestation” – early embryo, implantation, placentation, embryogenesis, maternal adaptation to pregnancy, fetal programming.
  • Module III – “Parturition and Beyond” – parturition, lactation, early parental behavior, menopause and reproductive aging, transgender health and reproductive considerations, and social determinants of reproductive health.
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