Genetic control of cell fate decisions in the developing mouse embryo
Prof Elizabeth Robertson
University of Oxford
Regulatory cues controlling growth and development of early embryos remain poorly understood. The specialised extra-embryonic tissues that give rise to the placenta are discarded after the embryo implants into the uterus. We are studying how key transcription factors expressed in these tissues activate expression of downstream genes that guide morphogenesis of the early placenta. We also want to understand how cell fate decisions in the embryo establish the body axis and regulate the formation of specific cell types and tissues as the embryo grows in complexity.
Our research will add to our knowledge about the way mutations in these pathways can cause birth defects and debilitating conditions during pregnancy, such as pre-eclampsia.