MicroRNA effects on embryo implantation

Research Opportunity
Number of Honour Places Available
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Royal Women’s Hospital
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Wei Zhou wei.zhou1@unimelb.edu.au 83453779
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof Eva Dimitriadis eva.dimitriadis@unimelb.edu.au 83452215

Summary In this project we will use a mouse model to mimic the high levels of microRNAs seen in humans with implantation failure and investigate the precise mechanisms.

Project Details

Notwithstanding the major advance that Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) have provided to alleviate infertility, nearly 70% of the embryos fail to implant on the uterus despite selection of ‘good quality’ embryos. One of the major causes of this low efficiency is the inadequate adhesive capacity of the uterine luminal or surface epithelium which leads to inadequate embryo attachment. Recently, we identified for the first time that microRNAs are present in abnormally high levels in the uterus of women with infertility of unknown cause. MicroRNAs are defined as small (~19-22 nucleotides in length), highly conserved, non-protein-coding RNA. MicroRNAs change the cell functions by downregulating multiple proteins expression. In the context of uterus, high levels of microRNA lead to a disruption of multiple proteins expression, thus compromising the adhesive capacity of the luminal epithelium. A better understanding of the connection between microRNAs and targeted proteins offers the opportunity for novel interventions to improve the efficiency of ART treatment.

In this project we will use a mouse model to investigate how high levels of microRNA affect embryo implantation. In establishing this project, we have:

  1. Next-Generation Sequencing data to investigate the gene expression signatures of human primary endometrial epithelial cells under normal or microRNA treated conditions
  2. collected mice uteri (both microRNA overexpressed and control) with a confirmed defective phenotype on embryo implantation.

We have also optimised several protocols for this project. Students will be using these resources to further investigate the regulatory mechanisms of the microRNA on embryo implantation.

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine, Women's Health

Research Opportunities

Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.


Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Research Node

Royal Women’s Hospital

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