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Welcome to the Kallen Lab

The Kallen Lab’s research program aims improve our understanding of the regulatory mechanisms underlying follicular development and reproductive aging in the mammalian ovary. Over the last several years, noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) have emerged as master regulators of tissue growth and differentiation, and my work has focused on these ncRNAs and their role in the reproductive tract. During her Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility fellowship, Dr. Kallen was awarded a position in the NICHD’s Reproductive Scientist Development Program (RSDP), a prestigious mentored career development program whose goal is to develop academic reproductive physician-scientists equipped with the skills to address important problems in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. This was a transformative experience, allowing Dr. Kallen to use her background as a physician to better understand reproduction at the cellular and molecular level, as well as to understand the importance of research that could translate from bench to bedside.

Dr. Kallen's published work in Molecular Cell, demonstrating that the ncRNA H19 acts as a molecular “sponge” for the micro RNA let-7, was completed under the guidance of her RSDP mentor, Dr. Yingqun Huang and been cited nearly 600 times. More recently, the Kallen lab described novel, noncoding-RNA-mediated mechanisms for regulation of follicular recruitment as well as for the rate-limiting step of steroidogenesis; the latter resulted in a manuscript which was recognized by the Endocrine Society as one of the "Top Endocrine Discoveries of 2017".

Since completion of the RSDP, Dr. Kallen received the American Society for Reproductive Medicine Research Grant and the 2020 Society for Reproductive Investigation “Early Career Investigator” Award for her work on mechanisms of reproductive aging. Dr. Kallen is currently the PI on an R01 which aims to investigate noncoding RNA-mediated regulation of ovarian follicular quantity and quality, a novel and understudied area of ovarian aging, and which received an Impact Score of 10 (1st percentile).