Jeremy G. Thompson Australia
His overall research interest is the impact of the micro-environment surrounding oocytes and embryos, especially nutritional factors, within both the in vivo (follicular/oviduct/uterine) and in vitro environment. This encompasses the following research: Hypoxia, Hypoxia inducible factors and their role in reproduction His laboratory has had a long standing interest in the role of oxygen concentration in regulating events within the female reproductive tract. This is primarily because both oocytes (within follicles) and pre-implantation stage embryos (especially within the uterus) develop in what is normally considered low oxygen concentration environments. We have focussed on the role of the transcription factor, Hypoxia Inducible Factor, in regulating a number of transitional events, such as follicle antrum formation, corpus luteum formation, early embryo development and implantation. Glucose concentration, the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway and oocyte competence. His laboratory has been investigating the less well-recognized pathway of glucose metabolism, the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway and its relationship between oocyte and early embryo competence. My laboratory has found that in both oocytes and embryos are sensitive to increased hyperglycemia through the O-linked-?-glycosylation of intracellular proteins. This has relevance to the negative impact that diabetes is known to have on reproductive health. Oocyte secreted factors and oocyte competence. With my collaborators, my laboratory has been studying cumulus cell – oocyte interactions and the role of oocyte secreted factors (OSFs). This has led to the discovery that the addition of native OSFs or the addition of recombinant specific factors, growth differentiation factor-9 (GDF-9) or bone morphogenetic protein-15 (BMP-15) to in vitro maturation of cattle or mouse oocytes significantly increases subsequent embryo yield by 50% and improves quality of resultant embryos and increases implantation rates post-transfer. This discovery is now patented and licensed to Cook Medical. We are pursuing this research area further and our aim is to apply this discovery to clinical IVM. “The Spark of Life” Within the ARC Centre for NanoscaleBioPhotonics, I lead a theme that examines the application of photonics and fluorescence sensing technologies to early developmental events, in particular oocyte maturation and fertilization. The aim here is to measure critical events in early development in real-time and in situ, and to develop new devices that can be used to measure reproductive health within one's own home.