cellular biology, biochemistry, microscopy, reproduction, conservation biology
WHAT WE DO
Assisted reproductive technologies (ART) depend on a thorough understanding of cellular processes in sperm, eggs, and embryos.
The FIRE Fertility Science stream will investigate how cellular processes contribute to fertility challenges.
Our lab will focus on understanding the mechanisms behind sperm metabolism, motility, and cryopreservation, with applications for wildlife conservation and assisted reproduction.
WHY IT MATTERS
Understanding how reproduction is successful in model species can assist conservation efforts for threatened or endangered species.
When endangered wildlife is brought into captivity, the focus on reproduction is centered around the successful production of offspring.
In livestock species, techniques like in vitro fertilization and embryo culture are common and possible because of the knowledge gained from extensive husbandry practices. In wildlife species that would benefit from these procedures, we still do not know enough about their reproductive biology to implement them successfully. Instead, assisted reproduction relies on the cryopreservation of sperm cells and artificial insemination.
More in vitro techniques would be possible if we knew more about the internal workings of gametic cells, which is the aim of FIRE Fertility Science.
WHAT YOU LEARN
Utilize the scientific method to read and understand scholarly literature.
Metabolic and protein quantification techniques, such as immunohistochemistry.
General laboratory and analytical techniques commonly used in reproductive research
Our lab is interested in understanding how culture conditions affect sperm function. As a part of the FIRE Fertility Science Stream, you will learn how to set up experiments designed to test a hypothesis, generate and analyze meaningful data sets, and perform a wide variety of laboratory techniques that are both specific to reproductive science and broadly applicable to other biological fields of study.
More information soon.
Dr. Halli Weiner
FIRE Faculty Leader
Dr. Carol Keefer