Reproductive and Developmental
Sciences Training Program

 


Reproductive and Developmental

Sciences Training Program

Imge of Dr. Latham

Education/Degree Information

PhD, University of Virginia

BS, University of Kentucky

Postdoctoral Research, The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, PA

 

RESEARCH INTEREST

My research is devoted to understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate early mammalian embryogenesis, and how disruptions in early developmental events can lead to disease later in life. In seeking to understand the early embryo, my research also incorporates the biology of gametes and gametogenesis, particularly the oocyte and oogenesis. This leads into studies of interactions between the oocyte and follicle cells. Additionally, the mechanisms that establish early cell lineages are examined. For over 20 years my laboratory has developed and applied methods for detailed molecular studies of oocytes, embryos, and stem cells. My research encompasses genetics, epigenetics, cell biology, cell physiology, and gene network analysis, providing for a comprehensive approach. This includes heavy use of genome, epigenome, bioinformatic and transcriptome analysis technologies. These genetic, genomic and molecular studies are coupled to microsurgical methods, such as nuclear transfer, cloning, cytoplasm transfer, microinjection, and sperm injection. This powerful combination of methods enables in-depth study of the controlling mechanisms operating inside mammalian oocytes and embryos, despite their limited availability, cost, and small size. Through an NIH-funded (R24) Primate Embryo Gene Expression Resource (PREGER), my lab contributed a large amount of novel data to the field of primate embryology. Our discoveries highlight the importance of nonhuman primates as research models, as we have documented many profound differences as compared to rodent models. Other studies take advantage of mouse genetic models to identify novel molecular pathways controlling oogenesis and embryogenesis, and to study environmental effects on these processes. Most recently, we have engaged in applying gene editing technologies in embryos. Future plans include the incorporation of other model organisms and the broader study of the effects of environmental toxins on reproduction.

 

RESEARCH TOPICS

Preimplantation Embryology
Oocyte Biology
Meiosis
Gene Editing
Developmental Origins of Disease

 

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Severance AL, Latham KE. PLK1 regulates spindle association of phosphorylated eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E binding protein, and spindle function in mouse oocytes. Amer. J. Physiol, Cell Physiol. (in press)

 

Midic U, Hung C, Vincent KA, Goheen B, Schupp PG, Bauer DA, VandeVoort CA, Latham KE. 2017. Efficiency and specificity of CRISPR/Cas9 mediated gene targeting of hemoglobin beta gene in rhesus monkey zygotes. Hum. Mol. Genet. 26:2678-89.

 

Midic U, Vincent KA, VandeVoort CA, Latham KE. Effects of endocrine disrupting compound exposure on Macaca mulatta embryonic stem cells. Repro. Toxicol 2016; 65: 382-93.

 

VandeVoort CA, Mtango NR, Midic U, Latham KE. Disruptions in cumulus cell functions in the ovaries of rhesus monkeys during summer. Physiol. Genomics. 2015; 47: 102-12.

 

Romasko EJ, Amarnath D, Midic U, Latham KE. Association of maternal mRNA and phosphorylated EIF4EBP1 variants with the spindle in mouse oocytes: localized translational control supporting female meiosis in mammals. Genetics 2013; 195: 349-35.

 

NCBI Bibliography