Figure 1: "Giant" mitochondrion from human endometrium
Fertility and infertility are of profound individual interest to many people and of huge medical and biological importance.
My research group is using a variety of Cell Biological methods to study the processes of fertility in humans and what goes wrong with these processes in infertility. In particular we use the following techniques to study human fertility:
Light and electron microscopy to examine cell structure and interactions between cell types.
In vitro models of human endometrium and uterine (Fallopian) tube, both as traditional monolayer and explant cultures aswell as 3-dimensional systems. These are used in studies of hormonal regulation, cell growth and differentiation and cell-cell interactions.
Quantitative microscopy, including morphometry. These techniques are used to provide objective, numerical informationon cell structures and so enable subtle changes which could otherwise be missed, to be recognised.
A range of other techniques are used, including immunocytochemistry, and molecular biology.
Figure 2: Electron micrograph of human endometrium showing a nuclear channel system.
Our general aim is to characterise the cellular events around the time of implantation (for the endometrium) and fertilisation (in the uterine tube) in normal fertile women and in various types of infertility or subfertility.
This information will throw light on the normal cell biological processes in the female reproductive tract as well as indicating directions for possible treatment or amelioration of infertility.