Rita T. Brookheart, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Washington University in St. Louis (WU)

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder in reproductive-aged women and the main cause of female infertility. In addition to impacting female reproductive health, PCOS significantly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus and is associated with inherent insulin resistance and increased adiposity. The molecular mechanisms contributing to PCOS development are not clearly understood. Dr. Brookheart’s research focuses on identifying novel molecular regulators of PCOS and elucidating their contributions to PCOS-associated metabolic abnormalities. Dr. Brookheart is particularly interested in the role that cellular stress and steroidogenesis play in regulating PCOS and how these pathways intersect to control disease pathogenesis. The long-term goal of these studies is to develop new therapeutic strategies for treatment of PCOS and associated metabolic abnormalities.