Embryology and Placental Biology

Embryology and Placental Biology Research Group

Research Group Head

This Ritchie Centre research group studies development of the placenta and its role in the aetiology of major obstetric complications including prematurity, birth asphyxia, intrauterine growth restriction and stillbirth.

We use micro-manipulation techniques to alter the embryo in order to understand the intricate relationship between the fetus and placenta. We are investigating differential development of the placenta in males and females, and whether this underpins vulnerability of the males to complications of pregnancy and birth.

We also investigate how early life events, such as intrauterine growth restriction and birth asphyxia, impact on development of the fetal ovary and subsequent fertility of the female.

A major focus of the group is understanding how creatine in the maternal diet, and its production by the placenta, influences pregnancy outcomes.

Research Projects:

  • Embryo development and manipulation
  • Sex-specific fetal and placental development
  • Early life events and female fertility
  • Understanding the biosynthesis and requirement of creatine for the mother, fetus, placenta and newborn

Research Group