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Cambridge Reproduction


My main scientific interest is the role played by cell surface membrane proteins in reproduction and currently I‘m investigating the mechanism that induces infertility in female mice knocked-out for an Adhesion G-protein coupled receptor named Adgrd1. As a postdoc in Gavin Wright's laboratory at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (Cambridge, UK) I identified the mammalian egg receptor JUNO. This protein, formerly known as Folate Receptor 4, binds IZUMO1 which is displayed on the surface of acrosome reacted sperm, and the binding is essential for the adhesion of egg and sperm. In fact, female mice lacking Juno are infertile due the inability of their eggs to be fertilized (PMID: 24739963). Previously, during my PhD I investigated the role of the RNA binding protein SAM68 in female reproduction and found that this protein regulates the expression of gonadotropin receptor transcripts in pre-ovulatory follicles (PMID: 20881015).