The Lujan Laboratory investigates reproductive physiology and the links to nutrition and metabolism. Specific interests include elucidating the pathophysiological mechanisms that to lead amenorrhea (loss of regular menstrual cycles) in women, as well as improving the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) across the reproductive lifespan -- a condition of impaired fertility that is tightly linked to insulin resistance and excess male hormone production.

Current Opportunities

We currently have openings for graduate students. Interested students should consult websites for the Graduate Fields of Nutritional Sciences (NS) and/or Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS)

We are always interested in hearing from highly motivated individuals interested in postdoctoral studies in the area of nutritional and metabolic regulation of reproductive function. Candidates with experience working in the area of Infertility, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, and/or Obesity and Insulin Resistance are encouraged to email us their curriculum vitae and statement of research interest.

The Lujan Laboratory uses high-resolution serial ultrasonography to track changes in ovarian morphology and follicle development throughout the menstrual cycle and over the course of the reproductive lifespan. We simultaneously measure a host of clinical, biochemical and lifestyle factors to characterize their relationship with the ovary.  Our overarching goal is to identify unique disruptions in folliculogenesis and ovarian morphology that can inform the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of PCOS. To this end, we have an ongoing observational study in healthy teens to investigate the etiology of PCOS symptomatology in adolescence. Most recently, through a collaboration with investigators at Weill Cornell, we have leveraged our robust archive of ovarian ultrasound images to investigate the utility of artificial intelligence to improve the diagnosis of PCOS on ultrasound.

Current projects include:

  • Trajectory of ovarian morphology on ultrasonography in adolescents at risk for PCOS
  • Artificial intelligence for the identification of ovarian morphology on ultrasonography
  • “Impact of a Hypocaloric Dietary Intervention on Ovarian Function in Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome” (dissertation project, Faith Carter)
  • “Effectiveness of a Hypocaloric Dietary Intervention on Body Composition Changes and Ovulatory Function in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome” (dissertation project, Avery Zhang)
  • “Trajectory of Ovarian Morphology and Metabolic Status During the Adolescent Reproductive Transition” (dissertation project, Samiha Azgar)
marla lujan

Marla Lujan, Associate Professor
216, Savage Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-3153

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