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Centre for Trophoblast Research


Dr Roser Vento-Tormo featured in an article about the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative’s Seed Networks for the Human Cell Atlas (HCA) programme.
Dr Vento-Tormo's contributions to the Human Uterus Cell Atlas will reveal the transcriptomic, genomic, and spatial changes in the uterus at the single-cell level throughout the menstrual cycle and over the course of a woman’s life, results which could lead to better treatments for endometriosis, infertility, or certain cancers. She is also contributing to the Human Gonad Developmental Cell Atlas, helping to identify the cellular makeup and organisation of the developing ovaries and testes using a suite of single-cell and spatial transcriptomic technologies. This project could lead researchers to a better understanding of the mechanisms that influence sex determination.

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Francesco Colucci and CTR colleagues featured on the Editor's Highlights as the most exciting Immunology work published at Nature Communications in 2020
Oisín Huhn, Martin A. Ivarsson, Lucy Gardner, Mike Hollinshead, Jane C Stinchcombe, Puran Chen, Norman Shreeve, Olympe Chazara, Lydia E. Farrell, Jakob Theorell, Hormas Ghadially, Peter Parham, Gillian Griffiths, Amir Horowitz, Ashley Moffett, Andrew M. Sharkey & Francesco Colucci (2020). Distinctive phenotypes and functions of innate lymphoid cells in human decidua during early pregnancy. Nature Communications. Volume 11, Article number: 381


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Dr Roser Vento-Tormo and CTR colleagues had their publication highlighted recently as a Nature milestone
Roser Vento-Tormo, Mirjana Efremova, Rachel A. Botting, Margherita Y. Turco, Miquel Vento-Tormo, Kerstin B. Meyer, Jong-Eun Park, Emily Stephenson, Krzysztof Polański, Angela Goncalves, Lucy Gardner, Staffan Holmqvist, Johan Henriksson, Angela Zou, Andrew M. Sharkey, Ben Millar, Barbara Innes, Laura Wood, Anna Wilbrey-Clark, Rebecca P. Payne, Martin A. Ivarsson, Steve Lisgo, Andrew Filby, David H. Rowitch, Judith N. Bulmer, Gavin J. Wright, Michael J. T. Stubbington, Muzlifah Haniffa, Ashley Moffett & Sarah A. Teichmann (2018). Single-cell reconstruction of the early maternal–fetal interface in humans. Nature. 563, pages347–353

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The June 2021 issue of Developmental Biology is a special issue edited by Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz and devoted to 'Synthetic Embryology'.

In an editorial titled 'Unifying synthetic embryology', Professor Zernicka-Goetz and her co-author Jake Cornwall-Scoones note that "This Special Issue reflects on the successes made and the challenges that remain in using in vitro culture platforms to study early mammalian embryogenesis ... [it] showcases the astonishing progress made in this nascent field of synthetic embryology, a field we believe will provide unprecedented opportunities in the research of the future, both in understanding basic mechanisms of embryogenesis, and in building tractable experimental models for translational science."

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A new study in laboratory rats has discovered a direct link between low oxygen in the womb and impaired memory function in the adult offspring. It also finds that anti-oxidant supplements during pregnancy may protect against this.

Emily J. Camm, Christine M. Cross, Andrew D. Kane, Jane L. Tarry-Adkins, Susan E. Ozanne, Dino A. Giussani (2021). Maternal antioxidant treatment protects adult offspring against memory loss and hippocampal atrophy in a rodent model of developmental hypoxia. The FASEB Journal. 35:e21477. 

You can read the full article here