Kathy Sharpe-Timms

  • Professor, Department’s of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Women’s Health, Animal Sciences and Comparative Medicine
  • Director, Division of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Women’s Health Reproductive and Perinatal Research
  • Director, The Missouri Center for Reproductive Medicine and Fertility Embryology Laboratories

    The University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, 65201, USA

Professor (Sharpe-) Timms’ (PhD, HCLD, ELD) received her BS in Zoology and MS in Equine Science from Southern Illinois University and her PhD from The University of Tennessee in Reproductive Pathophysiology. Her publications during this period cover diverse topics ranging from physiochemical changes in the cervix indicative of ovulation in mares, the uterotonic effects of prostaglandin F-2alpha and oxytocin in mares and the role of collagen and collagenases in retained placenta in the bovine.

As a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Kentucky, she worked under the tutelage of Professor Michael M Vernon. It was here that she first learned of endometriosis and of a novel rat model developed in that lab to study the disease. She identified proteins synthesized and secreted by endometrium and endometriotic lesions from this rat model and translated them to human tissues and cells, a field which would carry forward into a lifelong career studying the pathogenesis and pathophysiologies of endometriosis.

Professor Timms joined the faculty of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health at the University of Missouri in 1990. In addition to serving as the Director and Embryologist for the Missouri Center for Reproductive Medicine and Fertility, she is the Director for the Division of Reproductive and Perinatology Research in her department and conducts her own federally funded research (NIH) in endometriosis. Timms’ current research interests include mechanisms causing subfertility in endometriosis. Using the now well-established rat model and available human tissues, cells and fluids, her laboratory has discovered that tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase 1 (TIMP1), synthesized and secreted into the peritoneal fluid by endometriotic lesions, differentially localizes to the ovarian thecal cells and cleavage stage preimplantation embryos. Working by both matrix metalloproteinase enzyme (MMP)-dependent and –independent mechanisms, TIMP1 causes ovarian dysfunction by interfering with the process of ovulation and impeding preimplantation embryo development. Most recently, Timms has shown the aberrant ovarian and embryo phenotype and altered gene expression in endometriosis persists transgenerationally; mechanisms by which this occurring are the current focus of her laboratory.

Professor Timms has written 84 peer-reviewed publications, 19 book chapters, and 96 abstracts in Professional Society Proceedings. She has served as an associate editor for Human Reproduction and Human Reproduction Update and reviews ~50 manuscripts per year ad hoc for more than 25 journals. She is an active member of the World Endometriosis Society, where has served on the Board of Directors since September 2011, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) where she, along with Robert Taylor and Dan Lebovic, helped found the ASRM Endometriosis Special Interest Group (EndoSIG) and held office from 2007 to 2010 and held office including chair of the ASRM Reproductive Biology Professional Group., the Society for the Study of Reproduction and the Society for Reproductive Investigation (formerly the Society for Gynecologic Investigation).