Warren G. Foster


warren foster B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Division of Reproductive Biology

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Dr. Foster is a Professor within the Reproductive Biology Division in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at McMaster University with expertise in reproductive and developmental biology and toxicology. His research program is focused on enhancing understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms governing ovarian regulation and augmenting insight into the development, diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis. Research funding support is provided by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Dr. Foster was also a recipient of a CIHR/Ontario Women’s Health Council mid-career award as well as an Ontario Women’s Health Council career award.



Current Research Funding

  1. Foster WG, Leyland NA, Agarwal SK, and Villeneuve P. Characterization of a novel clinical marker of endometriosis. CIHR Institute of Gender and Health $705,752. (Awarded). 2015 – 2020.
  2. Foster WG and Zhu, J. Mechanism(s) of cigarette smoke-induced ovarian follicle loss. Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) $873,835. (Awarded) 2011 – 2016.
  3. Tayade C and Foster WG. A novel anti-angiogenic therapy for endometriosis. CIHR $483,410. (Awarded). 2011 – 2016.


Postdoctoral Fellow Supervision Award

Graduate Student Supervision Award

Mid-career Award, CIHR/Ontario Women’s Health Council

Career Award, Ontario Women’s Health Council


Recent Scholarly, and Professional Activities

Editor, Journal of Applied Toxicology

Guest Editor, BioMed Research International, Obstetrics and Gynecology


Member of editorial boards

Reproductive Toxicology

Journal of Clinical Toxicology

Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology

ISRN Toxicology

Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health: B Critical Reviews

Immunology, Endocrine & Metabolic Agents in Medicinal Chemistry

Faculty of 1000


Member of expert advisory panels and committees

Development and Reproductive Toxicology (DART) Technical Committee, ILSI Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI), Scientific Advisor

Endometriosis Association Science advisory panel

The Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis Foundation, Inc., Board of Directors


Publications (37 of 165)

  1. Wessels JM, Kay VR, Leyland NA, Agarwal SK, Foster WG. (2015) Assessing brain-derived neurotrophic factor as a novel clinical marker of endometriosis. Fertil. Steril. (In press).
  2. Furlong H, Stämpfli MR, Gannon AM, Foster WG. (2015) Cigarette smoke exposure triggers the autophagic cascade via activation of the AMPK pathway. Biol. Reprod. (In press).
  3. Agarwal SK, and Foster WG. (2015) Reduction in endometrioma size with three months aromatase inhibition and progestin add-back. Biomed. Res. Intl. (Obstet. & Gynecol.) Special Issue: The Impact of Endometriosis on the Health of Women. 2015:878517.
  4. Hughes CL, Foster WG, Agarwal SK. (2015) The impact of endometriosis across the lifespan of women: Foreseeable research and therapeutic prospects. Biomed. Res. Intl. (Obstet. & Gynecol.) Special Issue: The Impact of Endometriosis on the Health of Women. 2015:158490.
  5. Hughes CL, Foster WG, Agarwal SK, Mettler L. (2015) The impact of endometriosis on the health of women. Biomed. Res. Intl. (Obstet, & Gynecol.) Special Issue: The Impact of Endometriosis on the Health of Women. 2015:365951.
  6. Borman ED, Foster WG, Greenacre MKE, Muir CC, deCatanzaro D. (2015) Stress lowers the threshold dose at which bisphenol A disrupts blastocyst implantation, in conjunction with decreased uterine closure and e-cadherin. Chem. Biol. Interac. 237:87-95.
  7. Wessels JM, Leyland NA, Agarwal SK, Foster WG. (2015) Estrogen induced changes in uterine brain-derived neurotrophic factor and its receptors. Hum. Reprod. 30(4):925-936.
  8. Adlard B, Davis K, Liang CL, Curren M, Rodriguez-Dozal S, Riojas-Rodriguez H, Hernández-Ávila M, Foster W, Needham L, Wong LY, Weber JP, Marro L, Leech T, Van Oostdam J. (2014) Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and metals in primiparous women: A comparison from Canada and Mexico. Sci. Total Environ. 500-501:302-313.
  9. Cruz G, Foster W, Paredest A, Yi KD, Uzumcu M. (2014) Long-term effects of early-life exposure to environmental oestrogens on ovarian function: Role of epigenetics. J Neuroendocrino. 26(9):613-624.
  10. Lehmann GM, Verner MA, Luukinen B, Henning C, Assimon SA, LaKind JS, McLanahan ED, Phillips LJ, Verner MA, Davis MH, Powers CM, Erin HP, Haddad S, Longnecker MP, Poulsen MT, Farrer DG, Marchitti SA, Tan YM, Swartout JC, Sagiv SK, Welsh C, Campbell Jr. JL, Foster WG, Yang RSH, Fenton SE, Tornero-Valez R, Francis BM, Barnett JB, El-Masri HA, Simmons JE. (2014) Improving the risk assessment of lipophilic persistent environmental chemicals in breast milk. Crit. Rev. Toxicol. 44(7):600-617.
  11. Kay VR, Bloom MS, Foster WG. (2014) Reproductive and developmental effects of phthalate diesters in males. Crit. Rev. Toxicol. 44(6):467-498.
  12. Kubwabo C, Kosarac I, Lalonde K, Foster WG. (2014) Quantitative determination of free and total bisphenol A in human urine using labelled BPA-glucuronide and isotope dilution mass spectrometry. Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 406(18):4381-4392.
  13. Arbuckle TE, Davis K, Marro L, Fisher M, Legrand M, LeBlanc A, Gaudreau E, Foster WG, Choeurng V, Fraser WD and the MIREC Study Group. (2014) Phthalate and bisphenol A exposure among pregnant women in Canada – Results from the MIREC study. Environ. Int. 68:55-65.
  14. Lamb JC 4th, Boffetta P, Foster WG, Goodman JE, Hentz K, Rhomberg LR, Staveley J, Swaen G, Van Der Kraak G, Williams AL. (2014) Critical comments on the WHO-UNEP state of the science on endocrine disrupting chemicals – 2012. Regul. Toxicol. Pharmacol. 69(1):22-40.
  15. Curren MS, Davis K, Liang CL, Adlard B, Thuppal V, Said F, Foster WG, Donaldson S, Van Oostdam J. (2014) Comparing plasma concentrations of persistent organic pollutants in primiparous women from Northern and Southern Canada. Sci. Total Environ. 1:479-480.
  16. Wessels J, Leyland N, Foster WG. (2014) The brain-uterus connection: Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor (Ntrk2) are conserved in the mammalian uterus. PLoS One. 9(4):e94036.
  17. Toor KWessels JM, Agarwal SK, Leyland NA, Foster WG. (2014) Clinical markers of endometriosis: Have we been too quick to judge? Med. Hypotheses. 82(4):493-501.
  18. Rajabi N, Thorpe JB, Foster WG, deCatanzaro D. (2013) Novel male exposure reduces uterine e-cadherin, increases uttering luminal area, and diminishes progesterone levels while disrupting blastocyst implantation in inseminated mice. J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol. 139:107-113.
  19. Felker AM, Chen Z, Foster WG, Croy BA. (2013) Receptors for non-MHC ligands contribute to uterine Natural Killer cell activation during pregnancy in mice. Placenta. 34(9):757-764.
  20. Sadeu JC and Foster WG. (2013) The cigarette smoke constituent benzo[a]pyrene disrupts metabolic enzyme, and apoptosis pathway member gene expression in ovarian follicles. Reprod. Toxicol. 40:52-59.
  21. Mirshokraei P, Hassanpour H, Rahnama A, Foster WG. (2013) Gene expression of BDNF and its receptors, TrkB and p75 in the uterus and oviduct of pregnant and non-pregnant ewes. Res. Vet. Sci. 95(1):164-168.
  22. Arbuckle TE, Fraser WD, Fisher M, Davis K, Liang CL, Lupien N, Bastien S, Velez MP, von DadelszenP, Hemmings DG, Wang J, Helewa M, Taback S, Sermer M, Foster W, Ross G, Fredette P, Smith G, Walker M, Shear R, Dodds L, Ettinger AS, Weber JP, D’Amour M, Legrand M, Kumarathasan P, Vincent R, Luo ZC, Platt RW, Mitchell G, Hidiroglou N, Cockell K, Villeneuve M, Rawn DFK, Dabeka R, Cao XL, Becalski A,  Ratnayake N, Bondy G, Jin X, Wang Z, Tittlemier S, Julien P, Avard D, Weiler H, LeBlanc A, Muckle G, Boivin M, Dionne G, Ayotte P, Lanphear B, Séguin JR, Saint-Amour D, Dewailly É, Monnier P, Koren G, Ouellet E. (2013) Cohort Profile: The maternal-infant research on environmental chemicals (MIREC) research platform. Paediatr. Perinat. Epidemiol. 27(4):415-425.
  23. Kay VR, Chambers C, Foster WG. (2013) Reproductive and developmental effects of phthalate diesters in females. Crit. Rev. Toxicol. 43(3):200-219.
  24. Gannon AM, Stämpfli MR, Foster WG. (2013) Cigarette smoke exposure elicits increased autophagy and dysregulation of mitochondrial dynamics in murine granulosa cells. Biol. Reprod. 88(3):63.
  25. Siddique S, Sadeu JC, Foster WG, Feng YL, and Zhu J. (2013) In vitro exposure to cigarette smoke induces oxidative stress in follicular cells of F1 hybrid mice. J. Appl. Toxicol. 34(2):224-226.
  26. Foster WG, Cheung AP, Davis K, Graves G, Jarrell J, Leblanc A, Liang CL, Leech T, Walker M, Weber JP, Van Oostdam J. (2012) Circulating metals and persistent organic pollutant concentrations in Canadian and non-Canadian born primiparous women from five Canadian centres: results of a pilot biomonitoring study. Sci. Total Environ. 435-436:326-336.
  27. Peery HE, Day GS, Dunn S, Fritzler MJ, Prüss H, De Souza C, Doja A, Mossman K, Resch L, Xia C, Sakic B, Belbeck L, Foster WG. (2012) Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. The disorder, the diagnosis and the immunobiology. Autoimmun Rev. 11(12):863-872.
  28. Khoufache K, Bondza PK, Harir N, Daris M, Leboeuf M, Mailloux J, Lemyre M, Foster W, Akoum A. (2012) Soluble human IL-1 receptor type 2 inhibits ectopic endometrial tissue implantation and growth: identification of a new potential target for endometriosis treatment. J. Pathol. 181(4):1197-1205.
  29. Rhomberg LR, Goodman JE, Foster WG, Borgert CJ, Van Der Kraak G, (2012) A critique of the European Commission document, “State of the Art Assessment of Endocrine Disrupters”. Crit. Rev. Toxicol. 42(6):465-473.
  30. Jarrell J, Foster WG, Kinniburgh DW. (2012) Phytoestrogens in human pregnancy. Obstet. Gynecol. Int. 2012:850313.
  31. Khoufache K, Bazin S, Girard K, Guillemette J, Roy MC, Verreault JP, Al-Abed Y, Foster W, Akoum A. (2012) Macrophage migration inhibitory factor antagonist blocks the development of endometriosis in vivo. PLoS One. 7(5):e37264.
  32. Clafshenkel WP, King TL, Kotlarczyk MP, Cline JM, Foster WG, Davis VL, Witt-Enderby PA. (2012) Morinda cirtifolia (Noni) juice augments mammary gland differentiation and reduces mammary tumor growth in mice expressing the unactivated c-erbB2 transgene. Evid. Based Complement Alternat. Med. 2012:487423.
  33. Kosarac I, Kubwabo C, Lalonde K, Foster W. (2012) A novel method for quantitative determination of free and conjugated bisphenol A in human maternal and umbilical cord blood serum using a two-step solid phase extraction and gas chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. J. Chromatogr. B Analyt. Technol. Biomed. Life Sci. 898:90-94.
  34. Johnson NA, Ho A, Cline JM, Hughes CL, Foster WG, Davis VL. (2012) Accelerated mammary tumor onset in HER2/Neu mouse model exposed to DDT metabolites locally delivered to the mammary gland. Health Perspect. 120(8):1170-1176.
  35. Sadeu JC, Doedée AM, Neal MS, Hughes EG, Foster WG. (2012) Neurotrophins (BDNF and NGF) in follicular fluid of women with different infertility diagnoses. Reprod. Biomed. Online 24(2):174-179.
  36. Gannon AM, Stämpfli MR, Foster WG. (2012) Cigarette smoke exposure leads to follicle loss via an alternative ovarian cell death pathway in a mouse model. Toxicol. Sci. 125(1):274-284.
  37. Nethery E, Wheeler AJ, Fisher M, Sjödin A, Li Z, Romanoff LC, Foster W, Arbuckle TE. (2012) Urinary polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons as a biomarker of exposure to PAHs in air: a pilot study among pregnant women. J. Expo. Sci. Environ. Epidemiol. 22(1):70-81.


Contributions to books

  1. Dominguez MA, Sadeu JC, Guerra MT, Furlong HC, Bains S, Foster WG. (2015) Chapter:Ovarian toxicity on environmental contaminants: 50 shades of grey. In: Translational Toxicology: Defining a new therapeutic discipline, Molecular Integrative Toxicology, Hughes C and Waters MD, Editors. Springer International Publishing, Switzerland. (In press).
  2. Valez MP, Monnier P, Foster WG, Fraser WD. (2015) Chapter 7:The impact of phthalates on women’s reproductive health: Current state-of-the-science and future directions. In: Our Chemical Selves – Gender, Toxics, and Environmental Health, Dayna Nadine Scott, Editor. UBC Press. Part III, Hormones as the ‘Messengers of Gender’? 231-254.
  3. Gannon AM, Sadeu JC, Agarwal SK, Hughes CL, Foster WG. (2013) Chapter 10:Cigarette smoking and ovarian function. In: Ovarian Toxicology, Patricia Hoyer, Editor. CRC Press. Part II, Ovotoxic Chemical Classes. 231-250.
  4. Peery HE, Day GS, Doja A, Xia C, Fritzler M, Foster W. (2013) Chapter 129:Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis in children: the disorder, its diagnosis, and treatment. In: Handbook of Clinical Neurology, Vol. 112, Pediatric Neurology Part II. 1229-1233.

Website Links

Obstetrics & Gynecology, McMaster University  http://obgyn.mcmaster.ca/

Division Overview, McMaster University http://obgyn.mcmaster.ca/divisions/

Research Overview, McMaster University http://obgyn.mcmaster.ca/research/

Endo@Mac   http://endometriosis.mcmaster.ca/

The Endometriosis Association http://www.endometriosisassn.org/

World Endometriosis Society http://endometriosis.ca/


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