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Therapeutic potential of TGF‐beta proteins for the diagnosis and treatment of female infertility

The oocyte-secreted factors, bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15) and growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9), are essential for the acquisition of oocyte developmental competence during folliculogenesis. As such, these growth factors may provide both the means to predict and promote oocyte quality. We have pioneered the BMP15 and GDF9 field for over a decade and are poised to exploit their utility as biomarkers of oocyte quality. Furthermore, we recently established that individual subunits of BMP15 and GDF9 form a heterodimer with dramatically (>1000-fold) enhanced activity towards granulosa/cumulus cells. We are one of only two labs in the world to have produced this new molecule, which we have called cumulin. Although the physiology of cumulin requires further study, we have already demonstrated its remarkable therapeutic potential to increase porcine and human oocyte and embryo yield in vitro maturation (IVM). We hypothesize that the development of GDF9, BMP15 and cumulin as diagnostic markers and therapeutics will significantly improve the efficiency of IVF and IVM, thereby transforming the management of female infertility.
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here:
IVF, fertility, reproduction, ovaries, oocytes
Available options 
Masters by research
Short projects
Joint PhD/Exchange Program
Time commitment 
Top-up scholarship funding available 
Physical location 
Monash Clayton Campus
Kelly Walton
Assoc Prof 
Craig Harrison

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