Doing Novel Research on Mink Endocrinology

June 15, 2017

My Idaho INBRE project has finally begun! I have been looking forward to this opportunity with anticipation ever since I read Dr. Rose’s bio on the INBRE website. I was really interested in the topic that he was studying and not having much research experience, I was so excited when he responded to my email and gave me the opportunity to volunteer in his lab starting in January as I was studying for the MCAT.  I am currently studying at Brigham Young University Idaho, and so the world of academic research was new to me.


I am so grateful for that time that I was able to spend time in Dr. Rose’s lab here at ISU before starting the program because I feel that it gave me the time I needed to get more excited about endocrinology and the research that was being done here, as well as gain some much needed experience that set me up well for being able to jump right into my project this summer.  I have loved being able to come and work in a lab with people I enjoy being around and feel comfortable interacting with, learning from and problem solving with.


In Dr. Rose’s lab, we have been using mink as a model to study the endocrinology that is involved in embryo implantation in the uterus for successful reproduction. Most reproductive failure occurs when the fertilized egg fails to implant in the uterus. This research excites me because not only is it novel but it could have future implications into helping us better understand reproduction failure in humans as well as help us in designing new forms of contraception. 


My research throughout the summer will be to see whether certain hormones are involved in the up regulation of the Cytochrome p-450 1B1 enzyme. This enzyme is responsible for the conversion of estradiol in to 4-OH-E2, which has been shown to be necessary for reactivation of the blastocyst so that implantation may occur. I will be working with immortalized mink uterine epithelial cells and be measuring their CYP1B1 mRNA levels post-hormonal treatment using qPCR. Most of these techniques are new to me so I am delighted to be given the opportunity to learn and grow as I work throughout this summer under the direction of great mentors.

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