Amy Ralston, PhD

Ralston ImageEducation/Degree Information

B.A., Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madision, WI
Postdoctoral Research, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada



I received my Ph.D. in 2004 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I studied cell signaling pathways during Drosophila development under the guidance of Seth S. Blair.  I then pursued my postdoctoral studies in the lab of Janet Rossant in Toronto, ON, where I began my studies on stem cells in the mammalian embryo.  In 2009, I established my independent research program as an assistant professor at UC Santa Cruz, and in 2014, I was recruited to Michigan State University.  My track record as an effective leader and mentor led to my selection as co-Instructor of the Cold Spring Harbor Lab Course in Mouse Development, Stem Cells, and Cancer, a role in which I am honored to serve until 2018.  MSU's exceptional core facilities and extensive expertise in reproduction and development have provided fantastic opportunities for me and my trainees to expand our research interests.  My lab integrates classical embryology and contemporary genomic approaches, including embryo manipulation, transgenics (traditional and CRISPR), confocal microscopy, flow cytometry, RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, and reprogramming.  Our research is focused on discovering how genes regulate stem cell behaviors in the context of the mammalian embryo, with longer-term goals of devising new stem cell therapies and improving pregnancy outcomes.  


Research Interests

1. Preimplantation development
2. Extraembryonic tissues
3. Genomics, gene expression, and signaling
4. Stem cell models of reproduction


Dr. Alyson Lokken, a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Amy Ralston has received an award from the National Institutes of Health Contraception and Infertility Loan Repayment Program (NIH-LRP) from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for her research on the dual roles of OCT4 in preimplantation development.




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