Extracellular Vesicle communication pathways in the female reproductive tract (Dr Rebecca Dragovic and Dr Jennifer Southcombe)
Extracellular Vesicle communication pathways in the female reproductive tract
DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are nano-sized membrane bound structures derived from all cells in the human body. They function as intracellular communicators, delivering proteins and nucleic acid to target cells. Our research has shown that EVs derived from both the male and female reproductive tract can influence female receptivity to pregnancy. Through collaborations with assisted reproductive technology (ART) and early pregnancy clinics, we have access to human tissues that can be used in this research, such as endometrium, follicular fluids, seminal fluids, embryo supernatants, etc. Specific projects could investigate the EV signals being released from a receptive endometrium and non-receptive endometrium, if embryo supernatants contain EV that can influence implantation potential, or if paternal seminal fluid factors modulate female receptivity.
We are currently developing an endometrial organoid/spheroid cellular models to study human endometrial : EVs interactions. We would particularly invite applications from candidates who have an interest in human implantation models, and a desire to improve patient outcomes undergoing Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART).
You will be training in a wide variety of laboratory techniques: specific EV analysis techniques such as Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA) are available. In addition, we routinely perform tissue culture, western blotting, IHC including fluorescence and confocal microscopy, PCR and RT-PCR, sequencing transcriptome analysis, ELISA, and flow cytometry.
There will be opportunities to present work within the department, and at national & international conferences. Students are encouraged to prepare and submit manuscripts.
Successful candidates will be supported with their applications for independent funding for course fees, etc. Lab consumables are provided