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Giudice Lab Location
513 Parnassus Ave
HSE 1619
San Francisco, CA 94143

(415) 502-4155

(415) 502-7866

Read Developing a Noninvasive Test for Endometriosis

Giudice Lab Team

Linda C. Giudice, MD, PhD, MSc

Dr. Giudice is a biochemist, gynecologist, and reproductive endocrinologist. Her research focuses on environmental impacts on reproductive health, steroid hormone signaling in human endometrium, endometrial-placental interactions, endometrium as a mucosal tissue, and translational applications of human embryonic and endometrial stem cells. Dr. Giudice's clinical interests are endometriosis, infertility, assisted reproduction, and implantation and ovulatory disorders. She is director of the The UCSF NIH National Center for Translational Research in Reproduction and Infertility (NCTRI) and the UCSF Women's Reproductive Health Research Career Development Center.



Current Lab Members

Sahar Houshdaran, PhD, MS
Senior Scientist

My research in the Giudice lab involves several projects including: a) understanding the endometrial epigenetic regulation and its interplay with the circulating ovarian hormones during the menstrual cycle and in preparation for embryonic implantation; b) elucidating the epigenetic and/or epigenetic-ovarian hormones dynamic abnormalities in endometriosis; c) molecular changes in the endometrial epithelial and stromal layers in response to the implanting embryo (in collaboration with Dr. Susan Fisher's lab); and d) the effects of histone deacetylase inhibitors on restoring progesterone insensitivity in endometriosis. I also collaborate with Dr. Katherine Bianco and have been investigating the epigenetic changes of human placenta during normal gestation and placental abnormalities in common trisomies.

Related Links and Publications


Júlia Vallvé Juanico, PhD, MS
Postdoctoral Scholar

I obtained my PhD in Cellular Biology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in 2018. During my PhD, I studied eutopic endometrium of women with endometriosis at different levels (finding new diagnostic tools, studying specific proteins in the tissue and different endometrial populations, including immune cells). Most of the studies that I conducted were based in gene expression (RNA High Sequencing). Currently, I am working as a postdoctoral scholar at Dr. Giudice’s lab. My project involves the study of immune populations in eutopic endometrium of women with and without endometriosis. Specifically, I am very focused on studying the different macrophage populations in this tissue by using innovative technologies, such as mass cytometry (CyTOF). These studies will help better understand the immune niche in both, normal and endometriosis endometrium, as well as, give new insights of the pathophysiology of the disease. In addition, our findings would also be valuable to find new diagnostic or therapeutic strategies in endometriosis.

Related links and publications:

The endometrial immune environment of women with endometriosis (published in HRU)

Endometrial stromal cells circulate in the bloodstream of women with endometriosis (scientific paper accepted in IJMS)

Macrophages display a pro-inflammatory m1 phenotype in eutopic endometrium of women with endometriosis with relevance to an infectious etiology of the disease (scientific paper under review in Fertility and Sterility)


Sushmita Sen

Staff Research Associate

I graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelors in Neuroscience and Bioengineering. My role in the Giudice lab involves maintaining the lab and helping with all the current projects taking place. My interests lie in 1)understanding how long term exposure of exogenous androgens affect the human endometrium. 2) How the immune population in the endometrium functions.

I am currently preparing for graduate school, where I hope to continue exploring the wonderful world science!

Giudice Lab Tissue Bank Members

Juan C. Irwin, MD. PhD
Tissue bank Director

Dr. Irwin is an expert on endometrial biology, histology, and in vitro culturing of endometrial cell types. Dr. Irwin is also the associate director of the UCSF NIH Human Endometrial Tissue and DNA Bank. Dr. Irwin oversees all aspects of the Giudice lab and is also a co-mentor to all of the Giudice Lab research associates/postdoctoral scholars/clinical fellows.

Link to Publications


Kim Chi Vo, BS
Tissue Bank Coordinator

Kim Chi is responsible for maintaining The UCSF NIH Human Endometrial Tissue and DNA Bank. She has a vast array of responsibilities, including working with patients, preparation and archiving of all biological samples stored in the Tissue Bank, assisting in all of the research projects of the lab, and participating in international collaborative works.

Related Links and Publications
UCSF NIH Human Endometrial Tissue and DNA Bank


Past Lab Members

Yanett Anaya, MD
REI Fellow

Dr. Anaya is an OBGYN fellow whose interest includes endometriosis and the characterization of endometrial mesenchymal stem cells from women with endometriosis. She obtained her MD from The University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio, then did her residency at Baylor College of Medicine, and is now at UCSF for her REI fellowship.

Related Links and Publications


Shaina Balayan, M.S.
Staff Research Associate

During my M.S. work, I studied Trichomonas vaginalis, an obligate human urogenital parasite that causes the sexually transmitted disease, Trichomoniasis. Strains of T. vaginalis are becoming increasingly resistant to the drugs used for treatment, and consequently, the need for alternative drug targets has led scientists to research cysteine proteases (CPs). Since joining the Giudice Lab, I have shifted my research the upper female reproductive tract, and it is my objective to utilize transcriptomic profiling, as well as emerging proteomic methods, flow cytometry, and immunostaining to characterize the endometrium of women with endometriosis and other chronic inflammatory disorders, such as PCOS and fibroids.

Link to Publications


Joseph C. Chen, PhD, MS
NRSA Scholar (NICHD)

Currently, at UCSF, my research focuses on the potential for the human endometrium to act as a portal of entry for male-to-female HIV transmission. This project investigates mechanisms by which women using progestin-only contraceptives, including Depo-Provera, the levonorgestrel intrauterine system (active ingredient also in Norplant and Mirena), and spermicides containing nonoxynol-9 (N9), are predisposed to HIV transmission as a result of heterosexual intercourse. In the future, it is also my goal to determine how diseases of the female reproductive tract can affect HIV transmission in the endometrium. HIV infection is driven by human behavior and possesses many risk factors associated with poverty, crime, lack of education, and women's rights. Thus, this project has also given me a keen understanding of how cultural awareness of social-political factors are key to developing strategic options of treating a problem, and how research must often intertwine with anthropological variables in order to achieve success.

Related Links and Publications


Jacquelyn Hoffman, BA
Clinical Research Coordinator

I am the current Clinical Research Coordinator in the Giudice Laboratory and work for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Specialized Cooperative Centers Program in Reproduction Research (SCCPIR) Endometrial Tissue and DNA Bank at UCSF. Moreover, I also assist the Tissue Bank Coordinator who manages all requests for acquisition of samples from other SCCPIR Centers and coordinates sample storage/inventory, quality assurance and quality control of all specimens. I am currently working with Dr. Joseph Chen in our lab to develop a protocol to bank human endometrial epithelial cells for storage and revival.

Related Links and Publications
UCSF NIH Human Endometrial Tissue and DNA Bank