I'm a PostDoc in Robin Lovell-Badge Lab working on sex determination. I am interested in understanding more about the genetic mechanisms through which an individual's sex is established and maintained throughout life, in particular in the female context. Successful reproduction is the most important event for survival of any species and it mostly depends on proper gonadal development and function the molecular understanding of which is the main aim of my research. I use a combination of transcriptomics and proteomics approaches to tackle unsolved questions in the sex determination field.
Before joining Robin's lab I spent 4 years doing a PhD at Imperial College London under David MacIntyre and Phillip Bennet supervision. My PhD project was aimed to investigate gene networks underlying both premature and on-time activation of uterine contractions during labor in a mouse model. The question was: what triggers at gene level the onset of labor? Could we delay labor by manipulating any of these pathways? In humans even a small delay in the onset of labor could be critical to allow for proper fetus developmental before birth so this was a critical question. Through the use of transcriptomic approaches we identified across a timecourse all genes expressed prior and during the onset of murine labor in 3 models: normal gestation and labor, inflammation-induced preterm labor, and progesterone withdrawal-induced preterm labor.
We discovered that we could delay inflammation-induced preterm labor by blocking activation of JNK pathways and that in both normal labor and progesterone-withdrawal-induced preterm labor, inflammation was rather a consequence than a cause of labor so interventions aimed to block inflammation within these specific contexts is likely to be unefficient in delay labor onset.