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Investigations into the etiology of primary ovarian insufficiency


Suzannah Williams



Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI; previously known as premature ovarian failure, POF) affects 1% of women under 40 which is devastating for those women yet to start a family. With around 70% of cases with no known cause and no available treatment for POI the diagnosis can result in considerable distress for patients.

We have developed a mouse model of POI which has a tightly defined onset of POI providing an excellent opportunity to study the onset of this condition. Moreover, we know that in this model the condition is due to defective oocytes and recently we have determined that the oocytes modify ovarian function resulting in POI. The aim of this project is to investigate the mechanisms that regulate the onset of POI in this mouse model and also develop techniques that restore fertility.


This project will provide training in working with mouse models, cell and tissue culture techniques, laboratory molecular techniques such as western blotting, PCR and immunohistochemistry, and imaging techniques such as confocal microscopy.

The Williams lab is a team and there are ample opportunities to get involved in other projects.

The student will be able to access the training schemes and courses provided for graduate students by the University of Oxford.

As well as the specific training detailed above, students will have access to a wide-range of seminars and training opportunities through the many research institutes and centres based in Oxford.


The position is not currently funded and therefore the candidate will need to secure funding.