Undergraduate Reseach Opportunities

The development of germ cells (eggs and sperm) is necessary to ensure the survival of future generations. The pool of primordial follicles present at birth represents the total population of eggs or oocytes available to a female during her entire reproductive life. Establishment of this source of oocytes is absolutely essential for fertility. The basic mechanisms underlying normal oocyte development as well how disorders disrupt these normal processes are not well understood. In order to gain insight into early oocyte development in mammals, we are studying this process in normal mice and in several different genetic strains of mice in which female fertility is reduced

Students who join the lab will design a research project that combines both the student’s area of interest and ongoing research in our lab. Because of the time required to read and study the literature, develop a research question, and perform the research, students should anticipate the project taking at least 1.5 – 2 years. A minimum of 10 hours per week spent in the lab is expected.

Past research projects:

The Effect of Blocking Maternal Estrogen and Progesterone Synthesis on Cyst Breakdown and Primordial Follicle Formation – Katherine Loveland, BS ’23 and Maya Bolger-Chen, BS ’23

The Effects of Insulin Signaling on Follicle Activation and Development – Ali Abdullah, BS ’17

Germline Cyst Formation and Development in Zebrafish – Tess Cherlin, BS ’11

The Effect of Exogenous Estrogens on Primordial Follicle Assembly in vivo – Jenna Karavan, BS ’10

The Role of Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein in Neonatal Oocyte Development – MaryAnn Danosos, BS ’09

The Role of Estrogen Receptor Alpha in Neonatal Oocyte Development – Jemella Raymore, BS ’08

The Role of Estrogen Receptor Beta in Neonatal Oocyte Development – Kelsey Breen, BS ’07

Analysis of a Gene Trap Insertion in the Mouse trailerhitch Gene – Ashley O’Hara, BS ’06

The Role of Dax1 in Early Mouse Oogenesis- Krystal Wilson, BS ’05

The Role of FMR1 in Early Mouse Oogenesis- Luis Carvajal, BS ’04