A modelling-based investigation of the dynamic behavior of reproductive hormones in girls and wom
On May 5th Sophie Fischer-Holzhausen successfully defended her PhD thesis titled: A matter of timing – A modelling-based investigation of the dynamic behavior of reproductive hormones in girls and women.
Female health is an important but often understudied field of human health. Consequently, a considerable number of individuals of reproductive age experience one or more menstrual disorders in ways that effects their abilities to work and contribute (https://news.mit.edu/2022/events-illuminate-critical-need-menstruation-science-1003). Understanding the endocrine control of the female reproductive system is one element that will help us to improve this situation. Hereby, mathematical models provide us with concepts to integrate the knowledge we have about the endocrine control of menstrual cycle in a systematic way, help to understand complex regulation processes and predict – with some uncertainty – the effect of treatments.
In her thesis Sophie presents mechanistic models describing the endocrine regulation of the female reproductive system with focus on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis (HPG axis). Her scientific work is presented in three research articles. The first two publications present a mechanistic model of the mature HPG axis and its interactions with the process of follicle maturation (folliculogenesis). The model parameters are investigated and the application of the model to predict the effects of hormonal medication is demonstrated. In a third scientific publication, Sophie proposes a Bayesian updating workflow that allows the incorporation of cross-sectional data in the model calibration routine.