Embryonic Gonad and Germ Cell Development

This program area, directed by Dr. Susan Taymans, supports research on embryonic development of the gonads, from the events that establish the genital ridges to male and female differentiation and later development of the gonads, reproductive ducts and genitals; and embryonic development of the germ cells, from specification of the separate germ cell lineage through migration to the genital ridges and the fundamental processes of gametogenesis, with an emphasis on meiosis.

Major areas of interest include research to identify genetic networks and their mechanisms of action that influence these processes, including the genetic contributions to Disorders/Differences of Sex Development (DSDs) and research into epigenetic processes including the timing, mechanisms, and role of chromatin and histone modifications in gonadal development  and gametogenesis; the effects of assisted reproductive techniques on the epigenome of gametes; and the reproductive determinants and consequences of X-chromosome inactivation.

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