This has been a good week with two papers accepted for publication:
- Hanna C, Fujimoto V, Robinson W, Kim D, Parsons P, vom Saal F, Taylor J, Steuerwald, A, Bloom M. DNA methylation changes associated with exposure to the environmental contaminants, mercury, lead, cadmium and bisphenol A, in women undergoing ovarian stimulation for IVF. Human Reproduction (in press)
- Peñaherrera MS, Jiang, R, Avila, L, Brown CJ, Robinson WP. Clonal patterns of placental development evaluated by X-chromosome inactivation profiling. Human Reproduction (in press)
In the first one Courtney Hanna (PhD student) collaborated with Michael Bloom and Vic Fujimoto to evaluate methylation differences potentially associated with BPA or metals exposures in a group of reproductive aged women. While this initial sample was relatively small, it provides important pilot data to try and link environmental exposures with epigenetic effects in humans. Ultimately we would like to evaluate the role of such exposures in relationship to female fertility.
In the second manuscipt, research associate Maria Peñaherrera addresses 1) the basic biology underlying the distribution of genetic and epigenetic variation within the placenta; 2) the timing of X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) during development in different tissues; and 3) appropriate sampling strategies for assessing molecular changes in placentas in a clinical context. We continue to look at epigenetic variation in different extra-embryonic tissues in order to improve our study designs and the way we interpret such data in relation to poor function.
Congratulations to Ryan Yuen for completing his PhD and graduating! He has moved on to a PostDoc at the U of T in the Scherer lab and will be missed.
Courtney was honoured twice at the Medical Genetics Research Day in November. First she won the Jim Miller Memorial award which is given to a PhD student who best exemplifies Jim’s values of:
1) Integration of basic science with clinical medical genetics; 2) Creative leadership in departmental exchange of scientific ideas; 3) Originality and creative thinking; 4) A high degree of independence.”
She was then given the Departmental Teaching award for her commitment to teaching!
Here is our 2011 Summer Newsletter. Enjoy!