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.

Apply here.

Lab news:

Recently published from our lab:

Emma Linn & Colleagues highlight genetic intersections between spermatogenesis and rare disorders. Read more here.

Linn E, Ghanem L, Bhakta HH, Greer C, Avella MA. Genes regulating spermatogenesis and sperm function associated with rare disorders. Front. Cell Dev. Biol., 16 2021.

Cory Greer and coworkers have analyzed genomes of extant and extinct humans to identify deleterious variants in protein-coding genes regulating mammalian reporduction. Read more here.

Greer C, Bhakta HH, Ghanem L, Refai FH, Linn E, Avella MA. Deleterious variants in genes regulating mammalian reproduction in Neanderthals, Denisovans and extant humans. Human Reproduction 2021 18;36(3):734-755.

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.

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Selected publications:

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 SciencesThe University of Tulsa│800 S. Tucker Dr., Tulsa, OK 74104, USA