Marla Lujan
Prof Asst

Web Bio Page

Current Activities

Current Professional Activities

Current Research Activities
Role of nutrition, metabolism and body composition in ovarian follicle development, ovulation and fertility in women; Ultrasonographic, endocrine and cellular markers of impaired fertility in obesity; Determinants of chronic disease (e.g. atherosclerosis, diabetes, osteoporosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, cancer, depression) in women with menstrual cycle irregularities; Development of diet and exercise regimens that facilitate weight loss and stimulate ovulation in women.


Biographical Statement
Marla Lujan received her Bachelor of Science degree in Life Sciences from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario in 1998, and her Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Physiology in 2001 and 2004 from Queen's University. She conducted her postdoctoral studies in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan from 2005 to 2008. She became an Assistant Professor of Human Nutrition in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University in 2008.

The Lujan laboratory investigates the link between nutrition, metabolism and fertility in women. Specific interests include elucidating the endocrine, cellular and molecular mechanisms that to lead amenorrhea (loss of regular menstrual cycles) in overweight and obese women as well as improving the diagnosis and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome - a condition of impaired fertility that is tightly linked to insulin resistance and excess male hormone production. The Lujan laboratory uses high-resolution serial ovarian ultrasonography to track changes in follicle development and to identify key periods during the menstrual cycle in which follicle development and ovulation are most sensitive to metabolic cues (e.g. energy balance, body composition, fat-derived hormones, glucose, insulin, androgens). By understanding the physiological mechanisms governing obesity-induced amenorrhea, the goal of the Lujan laboratory is to develop nutritional, lifestyle and pharmaceutical regimens that promote and preserve reproductive health in women.


Courses, Websites, Pubs

Courses Taught

Related Websites
DNS Home Page
Human Metabolic Research Unit Home Page

Selected Publications

Allaway HC, Bloski TG, Pierson RA, Lujan ME. Digit ratios determined by computer-assisted analysis are more reliable than those using physical measurements, photocopies, and printed scans. American Journal of Human Biology 2009, In press.

Lujan ME, Chizen DR, Pierson RA. Diagnostic criteria for polycystic ovary syndrome: pitfalls and controversies. Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology Canada 2008, 30(8):671-9.

Lujan ME, Chizen DR, Peppin AK, Leswick D, Kriegler S, Bloski TG, Pierson RA. Improving inter-observer variability in the evaluation of ultrasonographic features of polycystic ovaries. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 2008; 6(1):30.

Mircea CN, Lujan ME, Pierson RA. Metabolic Fuel and Clinical Implications for Female Reproduction. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada 2007; 29(11):887-902.

Van Vugt DA, Lujan ME, Froats M, Krzemien AA, Couceyro PR, Reid RL. Effect of fasting on cocaine-amphetamine-regulated transcript, neuropeptide Y, and leptin receptor expression in the non-human primate hypothalamus. Neuroendocrinology 2006; 84(2):83-93.

Lujan ME, Krzemien AA, Reid RL, Van Vugt DA. Effect of leptin administration on ovulation in food-restricted rhesus monkeys. Neuroendocrinology 2006; 84(2):103-14.

Lujan ME, Krzemien AA, Reid RL, Van Vugt DA. Developing a model of nutritional amenorrhea in rhesus monkeys. Endocrinology 2006; 147(1):483-92.

Lujan ME, Krzemien AA, Reid RL, Van Vugt DA. Caloric restriction inhibits steroid-induced gonadotropin surges in ovariectomized rhesus monkeys. Endocrine 2005; 27(1):25-31.

Lujan ME, Krzemien AA, Van Vugt DA. Hypoglycemia does not affect gonadotrope responsiveness to gonadotropin-releasing hormone in rhesus monkeys. Endocrine 2003; 21(2):109-14.

Lujan ME, MacTavish PJ, Krzemien AA, Bradstock MW, Van Vugt DA. Estrogen-induced gonadotropin surge in rhesus monkeys is not inhibited by cortisol synthesis inhibition or hypoglycemia. Endocrine 2002; 19(2):169-76.