Focusing on the reproductive endocrinology of ovarian failure, menopause/perimenopause, and the effects of obesity on reproduction.
Dr. Nanette Santoro has over 25 years’ experience as a funded clinical and epidemiological researcher. Her work has focused on the reproductive endocrinology of ovarian failure, menopause and perimenopause, and more recently on the effects of obesity on reproduction in women, through studies such as the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN), the Women’s Health Initiative, the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study, and the MSHIV Study, an epidemiological study of HIV infected, menopausal women in the Bronx. She is the author of over 200 scientific publications and is a co-editor of the Textbook of Perimenopausal Gynecology, Amenorrhea: A Clinician’s Guide, and Primary Ovarian Insufficiency.
President-Elect, Society for Reproductive Investigation (2019-present)
Election to National Academy of Medicine (2018)
President Nominee, Society for Reproductive Investigation (2018)
Treasurer, American Association of Obstetrician and Gynecologists’ Foundation (AAOGF) (2012-2017)
Endocrine Society Outstanding Mentor Award (2016)
Society for Women’s Health Research Award for Outstanding Achievement in Women’s Health Research (2015)
Mentor of the Year, Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Clinical Research Training Program (2006)
North American Menopause Society Award for Research in the Perimenopause (2005)
5280 Magazine, Castle Connelly, US News & World Report, and New York, New Jersey and Westchester Magazine: Top Doctor
In 1993, my laboratory’s discovery that women undergo extremes of hormonal fluctuations, rather than a gradual loss of estrogen and progesterone as they enter menopause, informed subsequent research into the pathophysiology and symptomatology of the menopausal transition. My pioneering use of long-term, daily urinary hormone monitoring to examine reproductive hormone dynamics expanded to a major sub-study of SWAN, the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation. This multi- center longitudinal cohort study is now entering its 20th year. I am a past PI of the Bronx site for the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study (KEEPS) and just published the paper on symptom improvement in the women in KEEPS as first author.
From 2008-2020, I have Chaired the Steering Committee for the Reproductive Medicine Network and have led the Network to its most productive funding cycle by far, increasing its publications from a mean of 2-3 per prior funding period to almost 30 and clinical trial completion from 1 per cycle to 4 per cycle, the first of which has resulted in several high-impact publications that have changed clinical practice. I am currently a site PI for the NIH funded CONFIRM Consortium, and will be examining the effectiveness of gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist pre-treatment prior to IVF in women with endometriosis, the PREGnant Trial.
In 2004, my laboratory’s demonstration that female obesity causes a relative hypogonadotropic hypogonadism elucidated heretofore unappreciated pituitary dysfunction in obesity, findings that may influence the earliest events in pregnancy through the menopause transition.
My laboratory’s use of longitudinal urinary hormone sampling helped uncover evidence that the hypothalamic-pituitary axis’ positive feedback response to estradiol with an LH surge occurs early in the pubertal process and even prior to menarche, and that normal girls of normal BMI being regular, ovulatory menstrual relatively quickly after the onset of menarche. Follow-up studies (manuscript in preparation) have confirmed this phenomenon by giving an exogenous estradiol challenge to pubertal girls. The data suggest that girls who do not cycle regularly within 6-12 months after menarche merit evaluation for ovulatory disorders, commonly polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
I have trained over 100 physician scientists as postdoctoral trainees and junior faculty. My trainees have gone on to become Department Chairs and Division Directors at a number of major academic medical centers, among other positions. I have been recognized for my mentoring with the Mentor of the Year Award from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Clinical Research Training Program in 2006, and with the Endocrine Society’s Mentor Laureate Award in 2016. I have been PI of the NIH funded K12 Womens Reproductive Health Research (WRHR) Training grant for 10 years, and co-PI (Judy Regensteiner, PhD, PI) of the University of Colorado’s Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) for the past 7 years. Both of these awards are designed to train and mentor junior faculty for independent research careers. I am also PI of the NIH funded R25 award, CREST which trains junior faculty from around the country in Clinical Research in Reproductive Medicine and team science.