We are currently looking for graduate students to work on the molecular mechanisms of gamete fusion and on the genetic control of early cell lineage specification in preimplantation embryos.
Basic research: We use mouse genetics to investigate the molecular mechanisms controlling fertilization (sperm-egg recognition and fusion) in mice and humans. Using genome editing technologies, we establish transgenic mouse lines that express mutant proteins in place of the endogenous mouse proteins. Using in vitro fertilization (IVF) techniques, we test the ability of transgenic gametes to interact for successful fertilization and embryo development.
Translational research: We work on developing novel assays to improve pregnancy outcome for fertility treatments.
Avella, M. A., Baibakov, B. A., Jimenez-Movilla, M., Sadusky, A. B. & Dean, J. ZP2 peptide beads select human sperm in vitro, decoy mouse sperm in vivo, and provide reversible contraception. Science Translational Medicine 8, 336ra60 (2016).
Avella, M. A., Baibakov, B. & Dean, J. A single domain of the ZP2 zona pellucida protein mediates gamete recognition in mice and humans. Journal of Cell Biology 205, 801–809 (2014).
Avella Lab | Oliphant Hall, Department of Biological Science│College of Engineering and Natural Sciences│The University of Tulsa│800 S. Tucker Dr., Tulsa, OK 74104, USA