Kelly E. McKinnon, Ph.D.
Experienced scientific research and healthcare professional with expertise in women’s health, cell/cancer biology, fertility/oncofertility, oncology, clinical/translational research, genetics/genomics, precision medicine and science communication and education.
- Excellent communication, networking and collaboration skills
- Skilled clinical and scientific educator
- Experience managing research programs and groups
- Strong publication and presentation record in high impact journals, and at local, regional and international conferences
- Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine Chicago, IL (2013-2018) Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences (Driskill Scholar, NIH/NCI Fellow)
- Lab of Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D., Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Dean of the Graduate School
- Co-advised by Spiro Getsios, Ph.D, Professor of Dermatology
- Dissertation title: Microphysiologic models of human ectocervical tissue to study steroid hormone action during homeostasis, infection, and oncogenic transformation.
- Georgia Gwinnett College, Lawrenceville, GA (2010-2013) B.S. in Biochemistry
RESEARCH AND CLINICAL EXPERIENCE
Department of Pediatric Surgery, Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago, IL
Fertility and Hormone Restoration and Preservation Postdoctoral Fellow (2018-2019)
- Developed GMP/GCP compliant techniques for cryopreserving cancer patient reproductive tissue for a clinical trial and the patient’s future use.
- Collaborated with surgeons and clinicians to create patient-specific transplants to restore fertility after cancer treatment.
- Trained and mentored a research technician, medical student, and two undergraduates through independent research projects.
- Peer-reviewed two articles for top scientific journals.
- Contributed to two scientific manuscripts in progress.
- Awarded Driskill Travel Grant to Present at Society for the Study of Reproduction.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
Driskill Scholar (2013-2015), NIH/NCI Graduate Research Fellow (2016-2018)
- Independently identified, developed and managed new research area not previously studied by advisor or lab.
- Created new model system the influence of hormones during homeostasis, infection (HPV, HIV, HSV) and cancer.
- Collaborated with multi-department, multi-institutional team to develop the first ex vivo human organ system model – a microfluidic model of the female reproductive tract, for toxicology studies and personalized medicine.
- Analyzed and interpreted large, genetic sequence data sets to evaluate changes in physiology and immune response of the human cervix that may influence infection or fertility in response to fluctuating female hormones.
- Published in high-impact academic journals, such as Nature Communications, Nature Biomedical Engineering, Biology of Reproduction, and Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics.
- Presented at prestigious national and international conferences, such as Gordon Research Conference, Society for the Study of Reproduction, Oncofertility Consortium and Organ-on-a-chip World Congress.
- Mentored three undergraduates through independent research projects, and one M.S. student through masters thesis project.
- Awarded National Cancer Institute Carcinogenesis Training Grant, National Science Foundation Honorable Mention, Constance Campbell Memorial Research Award and Travel Grant, the Graduate School at NU Travel Grant, Mentor of the Year, and Science and Society Class Distinction Award.
Department of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
HHMI Undergraduate Research Fellow (2012-2013)
- Wrote grant and developed independent research project studying the effects of common food additive inorganic phosphate on the development and progression of cancer.
- Collaborated with research team to publish results in Molecular Carcinogenesis.
- Presented results at local and regional symposia.
- Awarded Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Research Fellowship, and Emory University Undergraduate Research Poster Award.
Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta GA
Patient Advocate (2012-2013)
- Provided patient and family support during chemotherapy infusions.
- Assisted clinical staff with administrative duties.
SCIENCE COMMUNICATION AND OUTREACH EXPERIENCE
Women’s Health Research Institute, Chicago, IL (2016-2019)
- Developed strategic communication materials (presentations, banners, infographics, and web content) aimed at different audiences.
- Delivered lectures using a variety of multimedia sources to demonstrate the importance of including biological sex as a variable in biomedical research.
- Organized, developed materials for, and led city-wide outreach event for Women’s Health Research Day 2018 aimed at inspiring and informing the local community about women’s health issues.
Woodruff Lab, Department of OBGYN, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
Director of Press Relations and Scientific Outreach (2016-2018)
- Developed press releases, talking points, FAQs and public relations strategy for multiple projects, resulting in hundreds of press interviews, and altmetric scores in the top 0.1% of all time for two publications.
- Developed web content, articles, infographics and brochures aimed at lay audience about recent lab developments.
- Managed social media outlets to engage the public in reproductive science news and issues.
Center for Reproductive Science, Chicago, IL (2014-2019)
- Developed and led Reproductive Science/Women’s Health Booth at the March for Science Chicago 2017 Expo.
- Delivered lectures on communicating reproductive science to different age groups and backgrounds.
- Served as member of advisory board.
Oncofertility Consortium, Chicago, IL (2014-2018)
- Developed user-friendly clinical protocols to ensure standardization between different clinical sites.
- Created material for physicians and patients explaining fertility options before and after cancer treatment.
- Driskill Graduate Program, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
- Lecturer in Research Ethics – “Sex as a Biological Variable in Basic Research” (2018).
- Teacher’s assistant – Cell Biology (2016).
- Health Communications M.S. Program, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
- Invited speaker for ProSeminar Lecture Series – “Communicating Reproductive Science to a Doubtful World” (2017-2018).
- Center for Reproductive Science, Chicago, IL
- Invited speaker – “Strategies for Communicating Science to Multiple Audiences” (2017).
- International Oncofertility Consortium Conference, Chicago, IL
- Educational lab sessions – “Bioengineering the Ovary” (2016).
- Women’s Health Science Program, NU Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
- Course instructor – “Decellularizing a Bovine Ovary” (2015-2017).
- Georgia Gwinnett College, Lawrenceville, GA
- Peer tutor – Organic Chemistry (2011-2012).
Scholastic Advertising, Inc., Lawrenceville, GA
- Graphics Manager (2008-2013)
- Worked with sales and graphics teams to ensure quality creative material for each client and each publication that accurately represents the client’s unique goals and interests and lives up to company standards.
- Relevant skills: Client relationships, team management, organization and prioritization of tasks to meet deadlines, sales team support, graphic design and print layouts, remote team management.
- Sales Associate (2005-2008)
- Initiated and maintained client relationships, clearly communicated product and value to different audiences, met personal and team sales goals and deadlines
EDUCATIONAL AND SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
- Good Clinical Practice (GCP), Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) Standard Operating Procedure Compliance Certification – Mathews Center for Cellular Therapy, Chicago, IL (2018).
- Science Outside the Lab in Our Nation’s Capital – Science policy fellowship workshop, Washington D.C. (2017).
- Science Writing and Communication – NU Medill School of Journalism, Chicago, IL (2015).
LEADERSHIP AND SERVICE
- Invited panelist at Center for Reproductive Science 2018 Summit – “Communicating Reproductive Science” (2018).
- Invited panelist for NU Leadership Council Live Webinar – “Women in Science” (2018).
- Center for Reproductive Science Advisory Board (2017-2019).
- Reproductive Science and Medicine Summit Planning Committee (2017).
- Driskill Graduate Program Mentor of the Year (2016).
- Driskill Graduate Program Student Council, class representative (2016).
- Science and Society Class Distinction Award (2014).
- Invited panelist, GGC STEM Faculty/Staff Symposium – “The Importance of Undergraduate Research” (2013).
- Microsoft Office – Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Access
- Adobe Creative Suite – Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, InDesign
- Data analysis and statistics – GraphPad, R statistical programming
- Project and team management
- Written and oral communication
- Documentation and organization
Kelly E. McKinnon, Spiro Getsios, Teresa K. Woodruff. Distinct Transcriptional Profiles in Engineered Human Ectocervical Tissue Dependent on Menstrual Cycle Phase. (Accepted at Biology of Reproduction).
Kelly E. McKinnon, Rhitwika Sensharma, Chloe Williams, Jovanka Ravix, Spiro Getsios, Teresa K. Woodruff. Development of Ectocervical Tissue Models with Physiologic Endocrine Signaling. (Accepted at Biology of Reproduction).
Kelly E. McKinnon**, Emma Gargus**, Hunter Rogers**, Maxwell Edmonds**, Teresa K. Woodruff. Engineering Reproduction. Nature Biomedical Engineering. 2019. (In press).
**denotes equal first author contribution.
Kelly E. McKinnon**, Shuo Xiao**, Jonathon R. Coppeta**, Jie Zhu**, Hunter Rogers**, Susan A. Olalekan**, Brett C. Isenberg, Danijela Dokic, Alexandra S. Rashedi, Daniel J. Haisenleder, Saurabh S. Malpani, Chanel Arnold-Murray, Kuanwei Chen, Mingyang Jiang, Monica M. Laronda, Thomas Hope, Mary Ellen Pavone, Michael J. Avram, Elizabeth C. Sefton, Spiro Getsios, Joanna Burdette, J. Julie Kim, Jeffrey T. Borenstein, Teresa K. Woodruff. 28-day Menstrual Cycle Hormone Control of Human Reproductive Tract Function in a Microfluidic Culture System. Nature Communications. 2017.
**denotes equal first author contribution.
Altmetric score – 1033 (99th percentile of articles of similar age in all journals)
National Institute of Environmental and Health Sciences – 2017 Paper of the Year
Monica M. Laronda, Kelly E. McKinnon, Allison Ting, Ann LeFever, Mary B. Zelinski, Teresa K. Woodruff. Good manufacturing practice requirements for the production of tissue vitrification and warming and recovery media for clinical research. Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics. 2017.
Pope, W. H., Bowman, C.A., Russell, D.A., Jacobs-Sera, D., Asai, D.J, Creswan, S.G., Jacobs, W.R., Hendrix, R.W., Lawrence, J.G., Hatfull, G.F. Whole genome comparison of a large collection of mycobacteriophages reveals a continuum of phage genetic diversity. eLife. (2015).
** This work included hundreds of undergraduates across the nation in the discovery, sequencing, annotation and report of over 600 phage genomes. My specific contributions were the genome annotations of phages Mufasa and Hope4Ever. Full author list is available as part of the supplementary info.
Yiming Lin, Kelly E. McKinnon, Shin W. Ha, George R. Beck. Inorganic phosphate induces cancer cell mediated angiogenesis dependent on forkhead box protein C2 (FOXC2) regulated osteopontin expression. Molecular Carcinogenesis. (2014).
Kelly E. McKinnon. Strategies for engineering the ovarian tissue niche using induced pluripotent stem cells. Fertility and Hormone Preservation and Restoration Research Updates, Lurie Children’s Hospital. January 2019. Chicago, IL.
Kelly E. McKinnon, Sofia Petukhova, Nathaniel Henning, Monica Laronda. Monitoring extracellular matrix remodeling during folliculogenesis in bovine ovaries. International Oncofertility Consortium Conference. November 2018. Chicago, IL.
Kelly E. McKinnon, Sofia Petukhova, Nathaniel Henning, Monica Laronda. Monitoring niche remodeling during folliculogenesis in bovine ovaries. Illinois Symposium for Reproductive Sciences. October 2018. Carbondale, IL.
Kelly E. McKinnon, Rhitwika Sensharma, Chloe Williams, Spiro Getsios, Teresa Woodruff. Microphysiologic modeling of human ectocervical mucosa reveals distinct biological, molecular and cellular profiles for follicular and luteal phases of the menstrual cycle. Society for the Science of Reproduction 51st annual meeting. July 2018. New Orleans, LA. *Received the Driskill Travel Grant.
Kelly E. McKinnon, Rhitwika Sensharma, Chloe Williams, Hunter Rogers, Shuo Xiao, Spiro Getsios, Teresa Woodruff. Development of novel 3D microphysiologic and microfluidic human ectocervical model systems for studying hormonal effects on differentiation, barrier properties, and infection. Center for Reproductive Science Summit. May 2018. Chicago, IL.
Kelly E. McKinnon. Microphysiologic modeling of human ectocervical mucosa during follicular and luteal phases of the menstrual cycle. Center for Reproductive Science Reproductive Research Reports. March 2018. Chicago, IL.
Kelly E. McKinnon. Hormonal effects of the human ectocervical mucosa. Carcinogenesis Research in Progress, Northwestern University. December 2017. Chicago, IL.
Kelly E. McKinnon, Rhitwika Sensharma, Chloe Williams, Hunter Rogers, Shuo Xiao, Spiro Getsios, Teresa Woodruff. Development of novel 3D microphysiologic and microfluidic human ectocervical model systems for studying hormonal effects on differentiation, barrier properties, and infection. Gordon Research Conference (and Seminar) on Epithelial Differentiation and Keratinization. May 2017. Lucca, Italy. *Received Constance Campbell Memorial Travel Grant and The Graduate School at Northwestern Travel Grant.
Kelly E. McKinnon. Hormonal effects on the human ectocervical mucosa: an in vitro 3D model. Center for Reproductive Science Reproductive Research Reports. March 2017. Chicago, IL.
Kelly E. McKinnon. Hormonal effects on the human ectocervical mucosa: an in vitro 3D model. Carcinogenesis Research in Progress, Northwestern University. Chicago, IL.
Kelly E. McKinnon, Monica Laronda, Allison Ting, Mary Zelinski, Teresa Woodruff. Good manufacturing practice requirements for the production of tissue vitrification and warming and recovery media for clinical research. Annual International Oncofertility Consortium Conference. November 2016. Chicago, IL.
Kelly E. McKinnon, Rhitwika Sensharma, Teresa Woodruff, Spiro Getsios. Ovarian hormone regulation of proliferation, differentiation, and barrier properties of the human ectocervix. Annual Lurie Cancer Center Symposium & Scientific Poster Session. Northwestern University. June 2016. Chicago, IL.
FemKUBE Technology Team: Jonathan Coppeta, Brett Isenberg, Jeffrey T. Borenstein; FemKUBE Biology Teams: EstroKUBE: Shuo Xiao, Alexandra Rashedi; TubeKUBE: Joanna Burdette, Jie Zhu; UteroKUBE/EndocerixKUBE: J.Julie Kim*, Susan Olalekan, Sevim Yildiz Arslan, Thomas Hope; EctocervixKUBE: Spiro Getsios, Kelly McKinnon; iPSC Development: Monica M. Laronda, Hanna Valli; Gynecology Tissue Core: Mary Ellen Pavone, Saurabh Malpani, Chanel Arnold-Murray; Bioengineering: Peter Chen, Mingyang Jiang , Hunter Rogers; Pharmacokinetics: Michael Avram; Project Management: Elizabeth C. Sefton; PI: Teresa K. Woodruff. Female Reproductive Tract Integration in a 3D Microphysiologic System. Organ-on-a-chip World Congress, July 2016, Boston, MA.
Kelly E. McKinnon. Ovarian hormone regulation of proliferation, differentiation and barrier properties of the human ectocervix. Center for Reproductive Science Reproductive Research Reports. April 2016. Chicago, IL.
Kelly E. McKinnon, Paul Hoover, Teresa K. Woodruff, Spiro Getsios. Engineering a three-dimensional human ectocervical tissue model to study hormonal regulation and immune response of female reproductive tract. Lewis Landsberg Research Day. Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. April 2015. Chicago, IL.
Kelly E. McKinnon, Paul Hoover, Teresa K. Woodruff, Spiro Getsios. Engineering a three-dimensional human ectocervical tissue model to study hormonal regulation and immune response of female reproductive tract. Center for Reproductive Science Minisymposium, Northwestern University, January 2015, Chicago, IL. *Received the Constance Campbell Memorial Research Award.
Kelly E. McKinnon. The Importance of Undergraduate Research. GGC STEM Faculty/Staff Symposium. Gwinnett Arena, 2013. Invited student speaker and panelist.
Kelly E. McKinnon, George R. Beck. Inorganic phosphate regulated proliferation and transformation. Emory University Undergraduate Research Conference. 2013.
Kelly E. McKinnon. Inorganic phosphate regulated proliferation and transformation. Georgia Gwinnett College – Science, Technology and Research Show. 2013. Oral presentation.
Kelly E. McKinnon. Applying to Grad School 101. Georgia Gwinnett College – Science, Technology and Research Show. 2013. Invited student speaker and panelist.
Kelly E. McKinnon, Abraham M. Bailey, Penelope S. Carter, Natalie C. Deans, Elizabeth V. Dyle, Alexandra Florea, Tatiana A Giraldo, Michael A Hayes, Jasmine Ikejiani, William C. Seawell, Hita Shah, Terrence E. Toussaint, Damion Coleman, Latanya P. Hammonds-Odie, Alessandra L. Barrera. Annotated genome of K2 mycobacteriophage Mufasa. Georgia Gwinnett College – Science, Technology and Research Show. (2013).
Kelly E. McKinnon, Laura M. Garneys, George R. Beck. Inorganic phosphate regulated proliferation and transformation. Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Poster Symposium. Emory University. 2012. *Received summer undergraduate research award
SELECTED WRITING FOR LAY AUDIENCE
KE McKinnon. Meet Evatar: The Mother of Microhumans. Woodruff lab website. https://www.woodrufflab.org/Evatar%20MPS
KE McKinnon. 3D Printed Bioprosthetic Ovary for Restoring Fertility. Woodruff lab website. https://www.woodrufflab.org/Bioprosthetic%20Ovary
KE McKinnon. Anti-vaccine movement a major risk to public health. Helix Magazine. https://helix.northwestern.edu/article/anti-vaccine-movement-major-risk-public-health
SELECTED POPULAR MEDIA FEATURING KELLY MCKINNON
“Professional Networking for Today’s Scientist.” Lab Manager. (2017)
“Q&A: How the ‘Mother of Microhumans’ Could Improve Personalized Medicine.”
“Why Scientists are Building Human Organs on Microchips.” https://tonic.vice.com/en_us/article/bm4wkd/why-scientists-are-building-human-organs-on-microchips (2017)