SRF/SSR New Investigator UK (2020) Putting pregnancy on hold down under – Dr Jane Fenelon, Research Fellow, Monotreme and Marsupial Reproduction and Development, The University of Melbourne, Australia

This talk will cover:
• What is embryonic diapause?
• Is the molecular control of diapause evolutionarily conserved?
• How can diapause research inform human reproduction?
• What’s next for diapause research?

Dr Jane Fenelon is a research fellow in the School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne, Australia. Her research has two main focuses. The first is on embryonic diapause, the ability of some mammals to temporarily pause their pregnancy. Her research focusses on understanding how the uterus and the embryo communicate with each other to control diapause and the implications of this for pregnancy in all mammals, including humans. Her second focus is on the reproduction and development of the echidna. The echidna is one of only 5 egg-laying mammals worldwide and this is the first in-depth study of its kind.

SRF/SSR New Inv USA (2020) – Dr Sue Hammoud, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan Medical School, USA

SRF/SSR New Investigator UK (2021) Epigenetic inheritance of predisposition to obesity: through the oocyte? – Dr António Galvão, Research Scientist, Babraham Institute, University of Cambridge, UK

Dr António Galvão received his degree in veterinary medicine from Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (FVM), Lisbon, Portugal, and a PhD from University of Lisbon, Portugal. Throughout his PhD and first postdoc, António studied the immune-endocrine crosstalk controlling ovaria and endometrial function in the large animals. His work integrated the collaborative programme between the laboratories of Professor G. Ferreira-Dias (FVM) and the Prof D. Skarzynski, Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, Polish Academy of Sciences in Olsztyn, Poland (IARFR). He was subsequently awarded a fellowship for Excellence in Science, from the Polish Ministry of Higher Education, and appointed Assistant Professor at the IARFR, where he started instigating the impact of maternal obesity on the pathophysiology of ovarian failure. This work led to the award of a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship to train in cutting-edge single cell multiomic techniques to study epigenomics in the laboratory of Dr Gavin Kelsey, Babraham Institute in Cambridge, UK.

Within his research programme António integrates molecular, cellular and bioinformatic tools to study the cross-disciplinary link between maternal obesity, infertility, developmental programming and offspring predisposition to disease. He is interested in deciphering the impact of maternal obesity on ovarian and endometrial functional dysregulation. Furthermore, by applying state-of-the-art methods for single cell analysis and high throughput sequencing, he is willing to elucidate the contribution of an obesogenic oocyte legacy, in contrast to that of the intrauterine environment, for developmental programming and intergenerational predisposition to obesity.