Dr. Oksana Shynlova

Associate Professor & Research Scientist

Dr. Oksana Shynlova is a Research Scientist and Associate Professor dedicated to advancing the field of maternal-fetal medicine and mature women’s health Dr. Shynlova obtained her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Palladin Institute of Biochemistry at the National Academy of Sciences in Ukraine. She worked as a Junior Scientist at the Institute of Biochemistry where her research focused on investigating membrane mechanisms regulating uterine contractility. After moving to Canada in 1998, Dr. Shynlova joined the laboratory of Dr. Stephen Lye as a Research Scientist in the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. Her research focused on molecular mechanisms of regulation of myometrial functions during pregnancy and labor, specifically the role of mechanical and endocrine signals. Dr. Shynlova has extensive experience with animal and human studies of the etiology of Preterm Labour (PTL). She established multiple animal models of obstetrical/gynecologic events including artificial menopause, pseudopregnancy, unilateral pregnancy, progesterone-delayed labor, infection-induced, and sterile PTL models. Dr. Shynlova is also well-known for her studies of maternal peripheral blood. In collaboration with Dr. Stephen Lye, Dr Shynlova developed new concepts of the myometrial immune system’s involvement in the term labor process, and defined the role of maternal immune cells in the initiation of labor. Despite the success of the research that led to improved understanding of the role of immune system in the initiation of labour, the prediction of the preterm labour in asymptomatic women is still a big problem. Many women are not properly diagnosed which leads to high rate of PTB in women with cervical insufficiency. Dr Shynlova’s current interest is in improving the identification of women at high risk for spontaneous PTL and developing new therapeutic interventions for its prevention. Dr. Shynlova was awarded the CIHR grant: Catalyzing Innovation in Preterm Birth Research: "MRI of Cervical Morphology and Maternal Serum Blood Markers Predict Spontaneous Human Preterm Birth”.

The second focus area of Dr Shynlova’s research involves studying fundamental molecular mechanisms of female Pelvic Floor Disorders (PFDs), Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) and Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI). In collaboration with colleagues from the Division of Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital, Dr. Shynlova is researching the fundamental molecular mechanisms of the development of PFDs in mature women. One of the current objectives is to study the role of local estrogen therapy in the prevention of pelvic floor deterioration in post-menopausal women that suffer from POP and in the treatment of recurrent urinary tract infections. Recently, in collaboration with Drs Ian Rogers and Mark Kibschull, Dr. Shynlova developed an innovative research program to advance basic science in the area of Urogynecology using autologous urine-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) for the treatment of PFDs in older women. She aims to translate her discoveries from bench to bedside.

In 2012, Dr. Shynlova joined the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Toronto as an Assistant Professor; she was promoted to Associate Professor in June 2021. Dr. Shynlova’s work has resulted in 76 peer-reviewed publications, four reviews, and five invited chapters.

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Dr. Oksana Shynlova