Julie Hakim Lab

Research Projects


Vaginal Wound Healing

We are particularly interested in defining the roles of estrogen, mechanical forces, extracellular matrix (particularly hyaluronic acid) and inflammation in the wound healing process of vaginal tissue and committed to helping women’s vaginal heal better. We are investigating this in both in vitro and in vivo model systems as part of our basic science research arm.

Vaginal Device Design

We are developing vaginal stents suited for pediatric and adult patients to address anatomic-specific needs for these patients. We aim to reduce early discontinuation of stent use postoperatively and improve postsurgical outcomes with regards to restenosis for girls who have undergone neo-vaginal creation and for women who have undergone pelvic surgery or radiation due to gynecologic cancer treatment. It is our hope that this newly redesigned stent will also benefit post-radiation and post-hysterectomy patients by providing a more comfortable, ergonomic and efficient stent option than the currently available model

Vaginal Modeling

We are inspired by the tissue engineering community leading organs-on-chip efforts to create a “vagina on a chip” model. We and collaborators are in devising such a biomimetic vaginal model to allow drugs or devices to be tested on a micro-sized replicate of the vaginal and reproductive environment to enhance discovery, efficacy and cost efficiency.