Grants awarded

Actin-dependent mechanisms of chromosome segregation in mammalian eggs

Grantholder:

Dr Binyam Mogessie

University of Bristol

United Kingdom

Every human life starts when an egg is fertilised by a sperm. For poorly understood reasons, eggs frequently contain an incorrect number of chromosomes. This chromosomal abnormality accounts for nearly 35% of miscarriages. Chromosomal abnormality in embryos also leads to genetic disorders such as Down’s syndrome, which affects about 1 in 1,000 live births worldwide. My research is aimed at understanding which cellular processes protect eggs from having an incorrect number of chromosomes before fertilisation.

I have discovered an unexpected function of a protein called actin in preventing chromosomal abnormality in eggs and I will investigate how this protein performs this critical task.

My findings could be exploited to improve the outcomes of fertility treatments and prevent miscarriages.