Imperial College London

Professor Kate Hardy

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction

Professor of Reproductive Biology



+44 (0)20 7594 2106k.hardy




5-008Institute of Reproductive and Developmental BiologyHammersmith Campus





Professor Kate Hardy’s current research focuses on ovarian physiology, specifically the regulation of early preantral follicle development. Professor Hardy leads an active research programme, coordinating a number of ongoing research projects in addition to supervising three PhD students, as well as BSc and MSc lab-based projects. In addition to her research interests, Professor Hardy is committed to education, teaching on a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, including the MSc in Reproductive and Developmental Biology, the BSc in Reproductive and Developmental Sciences, The BSc in Biomedical Science and The MBBS Graduate Entry Programme. Professor Hardy has published widely and has frequent invitations to speak at national and international meetings. She has been an Associate Editor of Human Reproduction Update and Business Secretary of the Society of Reproduction and Fertility.


Mammalian ovarian physiology, specifically the regulation of early follicle development.


To elucidate the signalling pathways involved in the regulation of activation of follicle growth.

To understand the cell biology of the events involved in the activation of follicle growth, including change in granulosa cell shape, onset of granulosa cell proliferation, and the initiation of oocyte growth.

To identify and investigate the nature of inter-follicle signals and their role in maintaining homeostasis in the ovary.


Professor of Reproductive Biology, 2009

Reader, 2001; Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology, Imperial College London

Senior Lecturer, 1999; Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Imperial College London

Lecturer, 1994; Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London

PhD, 1991; Royal Postgraduate Medical School, University of London

BA Natural Sciences (Biological), University of Cambridge


December 2013, 'Folliculogenesis: from prenatal to the menopausal life phase'. ESHRE Campus Workshop on Primary Ovarian Insufficiency – POI: Update and Guideline presentation, Utrecht, Holland.

November 2013, 'Activation of dormant follicles'. The International Society of Fertility Preservation, Valencia, Spain.

July 2013, 'Regulation of the onset of follicle growth'. Society for the Study of Reproduction Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada

February 2013, 'Control of Follicle Development'. The International Conference on Preservation of Fertility for Cancer Patients, Hong Kong

July 2012, 'Bone morphogenetic protein antagonists and preantral follicle development in the ovary'. Society for Reproduction and Fertility, Edinburgh

September 2011, 'Initiation of follicle growth in the ovary - identification of putative regulators'. Reproductive Function and Dysfunction, XVth International Conference on Development and Function of Reproductive Organs, Edinburgh

June 2010, 'Spatial Modulation of initiation of follicle growth in the ovary' Annual Physiological Society Meeting, Manchester UK



Rector’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2008


Deputy Course Organizer, MSc in Reproductive and Developmental Biology

Module leader and lecturer, MSc in Reproductive and Developmental Biology

Lecturer, BSc in Reproductive and Developmental Sciences (4th year MBBS science year)

Lecturer, Reproductive Sciences Module, Graduate Entry Programme MBBS



BSc in Reproductive and Developmental Sciences

MSc projects (MSC in Reproductive and Developmental Biology)

MRes Projects (MRes Cancer Biology)


Representative for Surgery and Cancer on the Master's Quality Committee, Medicine, Life Sciences & School of Professional Development, Imperial College London

Chair of the Surgery and Cancer Postgraduate Education (Taught Courses) Subcommittee

Member of the Surgery and Cancer Education Board

Member of Surgery and Cancer Postgraduate Education Committee

Member of MSc in Reproductive and Developmental Biology Organizing Committee



Society for Endocrinology

Society for Reproduction and Fertility

British Society for Developmental Biology

British Society for Cell Biology


2005 - 2009 Associate Editor of Human Reproduction Update


2007 on Member of the Organizing Committee of the Ovarian Workshop (USA)

1998 - 2002 Business Secretary, Society for the Study of Fertility (now the Society for Reproduction and Fertility) UK.


Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PLOS ONE, Development, Developmental Biology, Human Molecular Genetics, Human Reproduction Update, Human Reproduction, Molecular Human Reproduction, Fertility and Sterility, Biology of Reproduction, Reproduction, Cell and Tissue Research, Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, Molecular and Cellular EndocrinologyReproduction, Fertility and Development

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Comim FV, Hardy K, Franks S, 2013, Adiponectin and Its Receptors in the Ovary: Further Evidence for a Link between Obesity and Hyperandrogenism in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, PLOS One, Vol:8, ISSN:1932-6203

Comim FV, Teerds K, Hardy K, et al., 2013, Increased protein expression of LHCG receptor and 17α-hydroxylase/17-20-lyase in human polycystic ovaries, Human Reproduction, Vol:28, ISSN:0268-1161, Pages:3086-3092

Fenwick MA, Mora JM, Mansour YT, et al., 2013, Investigations of TGF-β Signaling in Preantral Follicles of Female Mice Reveal Differential Roles for Bone Morphogenetic Protein 15, Endocrinology, Vol:154, ISSN:0013-7227, Pages:3423-3436

Mora JM, Fenwick MA, Castle L, et al., 2012, Characterization and Significance of Adhesion and Junction-Related Proteins in Mouse Ovarian Follicles, Biology of Reproduction, Vol:86, ISSN:0006-3363

Fenwick MA, Mansour YT, Franks S, et al., 2011, Identification and Regulation of Bone Morphogenetic Protein Antagonists Associated with Preantral Follicle Development in the Ovary, Endocrinology, Vol:152, ISSN:0013-7227, Pages:3515-3526

Da Silva-Buttkus P, Marcelli G, Franks S, et al., 2009, Inferring biological mechanisms from spatial analysis: Prediction of a local inhibitor in the ovary, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol:106, ISSN:0027-8424, Pages:456-461

Da Silva-Buttkus P, Jayasooriya GS, Mora JM, et al., 2008, Effect of cell shape and packing density on granulosa cell proliferation and formation of multiple layers during early follicle development in the ovary, Journal of Cell Science, Vol:121, ISSN:0021-9533, Pages:3890-3900

Stubbs SA, Stark J, Dilworth SM, et al., 2007, Abnormal preantral folliculogenesis in polycystic ovaries is associated with increased granulosa cell division, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Vol:92, ISSN:0021-972X, Pages:4418-4426

Stubbs SA, Hardy K, Da Silva-Buttkus P, et al., 2005, Anti-Mullerian hormone protein expression is reduced during the initial stages of follicle development in human polycystic ovaries, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Vol:90, ISSN:0021-972X, Pages:5536-5543

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