Research

8cell_UPF1_63X_D660_R780_STACKOur laboratory is interested in understanding the molecular events that occur during the transition from the fully-grown, fully-differentiated oocyte to the totipotent embryo with the goal of improving embryo development and IVF outcomes. This transition occurs in the absence of transcription and, therefore, depends on posttranscriptional regulation of cytoplasmic maternal mRNAs accumulated in the oocyte at the time of ovulation. At the end of this transition, transcription resumes from the reprogrammed embryonic genome. It is clear that events during this early transition are absolutely critical for successful development of human embryos in vitro to the blastocyst stage. We currently have several projects underway investigating the mechanisms that regulate the stability and translation of maternal mRNA during the oocyte to embryo transition and to test the role of these pathways during this critical stage of embryo development.