Welcome to the Pepling Lab in the Department of Biology at Syracuse University

The Pepling Lab specializes in the study of oocytes (female germ cells), hormone signaling, and ovarian organ culture.

The pool of primordial follicles present at birth represents the total population of germ cells available to a female during her entire reproductive life. Establishment of this source of oocytes is absolutely essential for fertility. Shortly after forming, female germ cells undergo a series of incomplete cell divisions resulting in clusters called cysts. Just after birth, mouse germ cell cysts break down into individual oocytes that are surrounded by pre-granulosa cells to form primordial follicles. During cyst breakdown, a subset of oocytes in each cyst dies by programmed cell death with only a third of the initial number of oocytes surviving. The long-term goal of Dr. Pepling’s research is to understand the mechanisms that regulate cyst breakdown and programmed cell death to establish the primordial follicle pool in the mouse ovary.

Dr. Pepling recently received a three-year, $440,000 Academic Research Enhancement Award from the National Institutes of health. She and her research team are using the award to study various areas of female fertility, including primary ovarian insufficiency, the reproductive lifespan, and menopause. This research also utilizes biomedical research techniques such as immunocytochemistry, confocal microscopy, Western blotting, ovary organ culture, pharmacological inhibitors, small-interfering RNA technologies, and genetics.