Monique Mills


  • B.S. Biology,  University of Maine Machias, 2018


Monique is a first-generation student from Maine and is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Bolcun-Filas Lab at The Jackson Laboratory. Her dissertation focuses on understanding the mechanism of cancer treatment-induced infertility in females. Her research looks at the population of immature oocytes which are limited in number and are highly susceptible to DNA damage. Cancer treatment-induced DNA damage can deplete the ovary of these immature oocytes resulting in premature ovarian failure and infertility. Existing fertility preservation methods require delaying cancer treatment, invasive surgery that may reintroduce cancerous cells, and are insufficient for prepubescent females. The goal of her research is to understand the DNA damage response in immature oocytes to establish targets for a non-invasive pharmacological inhibition strategy to preserve ovarian function and fertility in female cancer patients. Monique is currently funded through an NIH F31-Diversity Fellowship.

Outside of her lab work, Monique is involved in science policy and advocacy. She has attended a Capitol Hill Day with the Maine Education Opportunity Association to advocate for education access for first-generation and historically underrepresented students in Maine. She is currently a member of the National Science Policy Network and has been selected as a 2022 NSPN Science-Policy Scholar-In-Residence. In the future, Monique wants to leverage her scientific training to bridge the scientific community with policymakers and the public with the goal of improving female reproductive health outcomes.

Research Interests

My research interests involve understanding how modulating pathways can ameliorate downstream effects in disease progression.

My previous projects include:

  • Identifying genes involved in wound-induced polyploidy
  • Quantification of reactive oxygen species during heat shock
  • Determining the basis for ligand-mediated RORγ hyperactivation