Monsivais Lab @ BCM

Improving women’s reproductive health by studying the endometrium

The endometrium is the mucosal lining of the uterus that is composed of stromal and epithelial cells and undergoes 400-500 cycles of proliferation, differentiation and menstrual breakdown throughout a woman’s lifespan. The endometrial tissue’s capacity for self-renewal is attributed to the presence of stem cells. Using mouse models, innovative primary-derived 3D-organoids and 2D-stromal cells from human endometrial tissues, our goal is to unravel the signals which prepare the endometrium for pregnancy by controlling epithelial cell remodeling, stromal cell differentiation, and regeneration. This knowledge holds potential to address disease that affect the endometrium, such as endometriosis, endometrial cancer, menstrual disorders and infertility.

Recent publications:

“Endometrial receptivity and implantation require uterine BMP signaling through an ACVR2A-SMAD1/SMAD5 axis”

Nature Communications volume 12, Article number: 3386 (2021)

“Mass-spectrometry-based proteomic correlates of grade and stage reveal pathways and kinases associated with aggressive human cancers”

Oncogene volume 40, pages 2081–2095 (2021)

“Activin-like kinase 5 (ALK5) inactivation in the mouse uterus results in metastatic endometrial carcinoma”

PNAS February 26, 2019 116 (9) 3883-3892

Complete list of publications can be found here:

Lab Members

Diana Monsivais, PhD
Assistant Professor
Baylor College of Medicine
One Baylor Plaza
Houston, TX 77030

Dr. Monsivais is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology and Immunology at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), where she runs a laboratory focused on endometrial biology and female reproductive diseases. Dr. Monsivais was awarded a K99/R00 Award from the NICHD and a Next Generation Pregnancy Award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund to study the role of the endometrium in female reproductive health and pregnancy. She obtained her PhD in the laboratory of Dr. Serdar Bulun, where she discovered the critical roles of GTPases and kinases to the development of endometriosis. Dr. Monsivais then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Martin Matzuk, where she gained expertise in the development of genetic mouse models and pregnancy. As an IRACDA fellow at BCM, Dr. Monsivais obtained training in teaching methods and developed course modules for undergraduates. Ongoing studies in her group are combining the power of genetically engineered mice with human translational models to uncover the signaling mechanisms that drive endometrial cell renewal and are abnormal in endometrial cancer, endometriosis and infertility.
Suni Tang, PhD
Staff Scientist

Dr. Tang received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Yunnan University and a PhD in Genetics from Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in China. She performed postdoctoral fellowships at University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) in Kansas City, KS, and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) in Amarillo, TX, where she studied chemoprevention and chemotherapy of prostate cancer. Dr. Tang joined the group in 2020 and leads the studies related to human endometrial organoids and stromal cell decidualization in endometriosis. 
Dominique Cope, B.S.
Dominique graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biology from UC Berkeley in 2021. She joined the group as a Research Assistant where she conducts fertility studies in genetically engineered mouse models. She will attend medical school in the Fall of 2022. 
Kersten Pierre

Kersten is an undergraduate student at Spelman University. Kersten joined the group as part of the summer SMART program at BCM and worked on projects related endometrial cancer drug discovery.