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Cambridge Reproduction


My research project aims to understand how the human embryo prepares for gastrulation using the HNES cells as an in vitro model system to recreate this process. Epithelialisation correlates with developmental priming; transition from naïve to primed pluripotency is accompanied by considerable morphological changes. Evidence that these morphological changes are essential for the change in pluripotency comes from the need for addition of aPKC and Rho-associated kinase inhibitors to maintain the naïve state in cultured HNES cells. My project will explore the interplay and potential interdependence of morphological/physical processes and chemical signalling on the exit from naïve pluripotency through considering how mechanical properties of the cell/cytoskeletal changes impact on gene expression.

More broadly, my academic interests include early mammalian development and how advances in understanding of human development can translate to improved efficiencies in assisted reproduction.