Virginia Vitzthum is a professor emeritus of anthropology at Indiana University. Her research focuses on women’s reproductive functioning and how it differs between individuals and across populations around the world. This work has direct implications for improving women’s health, including reducing breast cancer, depression, autoimmune diseases and other hormone related disorders; treating infertility and preventing early pregnancy loss; and developing more effective contraceptives with fewer side effects.
Vitzthum’s “Flexible Response Model” illustrates how women’s reproductive systems respond to environmental cues such as dietary and genetic variation, high altitude or extreme light patterns, like those experienced by shift workers and Arctic populations.
Areas of Expertise
Variation in human female reproduction, contraceptive technology, applied health policy, reproduction and environmental factors.