Keith Latham, PhD

Imge of Dr. Latham

Education/Degree Information<

PhD, University of Virginia

BS, University of Kentucky

Postdoctoral Research, The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, PA


Co-Director of RDSP and RDSP Training Program, Professor of Animal Science and Adjunct Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology.



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 nearly 30 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 combined with 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. My research has involved mouse and nonhuman primate research models and most recently expanded to the bovine model. Current interests include understanding evolutionary divergence between mammals affecting oocyte and embryo biology. Many 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. Current research interests focus on understanding the regulation of maternal mRNA in oocytes and early embryos, the regulation of embryonic transcriptional genome activation, and the role of endocrine factors in regulating oocyte and embryo quality.



Preimplantation Embryology
Oocyte Biology
Gene Editing
Developmental Origins of Disease



Ruebel ML, Latham KE. Listening to mother: Long-term maternal effects in mammalian development.

Mol Reprod Dev. 2020 87:399-408. doi: 10.1002/mrd.23336. PMID: 32202026 Review.

Severance AL, Midic U, Latham KE.

Genotypic divergence in mouse oocyte transcriptomes: possible pathways to hybrid vigor impacting fertility and embryogenesis. Physiol Genomics. 2020 52:96-109. doi: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00078.2019. PMID: 31869285

Schall PZ, Ruebel ML, Latham KE. A New Role for SMCHD1 in Life's Master Switch and Beyond. Trends Genet. 2019 35:948-955. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2019.10.001. PMID: 31668908 Review.

Ruebel ML, Vincent KA, Schall PZ, Wang K, Latham KE. SMCHD1 terminates the first embryonic genome activation event in mouse two-cell embryos and contributes to a transcriptionally repressive state. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2019 317:C655-C664. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00116.2019. PMID: 31365290

Mossa F, Latham KE, Ireland JJ, Veiga-Lopez A. Undernutrition and hyperandrogenism during pregnancy: Role in programming of cardiovascular disease and infertility. Mol Reprod Dev. 2019 86:1255-1264. doi: 10.1002/mrd.23239. PMID: 31347224 Review.

Brachova P, Alvarez NS, Hong X, Gunewardena S, Vincent KA, Latham KE, Christenson LK. Inosine RNA modifications are enriched at the codon wobble position in mouse oocytes and eggs. Biol Reprod. 2019 101:938-949. doi: 10.1093/biolre/ioz130. PMID: 31346607

Schall PZ, Ruebel ML, Midic U, VandeVoort CA, Latham KE. Temporal patterns of gene regulation and upstream regulators contributing to major developmental transitions during Rhesus macaque preimplantation development. Mol Hum Reprod. 2019 25:111-123. doi: 10.1093/molehr/gaz001. PMID: 30698740

Ruebel ML, Schall PZ, Midic U, Vincent KA, Goheen B, VandeVoort CA, Latham KE. Transcriptome analysis of rhesus monkey failed-to-mature oocytes: deficiencies in transcriptional regulation and cytoplasmic maturation of the oocyte mRNA population. Mol Hum Reprod. 2018 24:478-494. doi: 10.1093/molehr/gay032. PMID: 30085220

Midic U, Vincent KA, Wang K, Lokken A, Severance AL, Ralston A, Knott JG, Latham KE. Novel key roles for structural maintenance of chromosome flexible domain containing 1 (Smchd1) during preimplantation mouse development. Mol Reprod Dev. 2018 85:635-648. doi: 10.1002/mrd.23001. PMID: 29900695

Midic U, VandeVoort CA, Latham KE. Determination of single embryo sex in Macaca mulatta and Mus musculus RNA-Seq transcriptome profiles. Physiol Genomics. 2018 50:628-635. doi:10.1152/physiolgenomics.00001.2018. PMID: 29727590

Midic U, Goheen B, Vincent KA, VandeVoort CA, Latham KE. Changes in gene expression following long-term in vitro exposure of Macaca mulatta trophoblast stem cells to biologically relevant levels of endocrine disruptors.

Reprod Toxicol. 2018 77:154-165. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2018.02.012. PMID: 29505797


NCBI Bibliography