About Our Lab
The female reproductive system is the first to age in the human body and will affect every single woman. Reproductive aging is characterized by a noticeable decline in egg quantity and quality beginning in women when they reach their mid-thirties and continuing until menopause. Female reproductive aging has significant health consequences as it results in endocrine function loss and is a leading cause of infertility, miscarriages, and birth defects. Reproductive aging has a large societal impact as women globally are delaying childbearing and many women of advanced reproductive age rely on Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) to conceive.
The Duncan Lab uses mammalian model systems (mouse, bovine, and human) to investigate the overarching hypothesis that deterioration of oocyte-intrinsic cellular pathways together with alterations in the ovarian environment underlie the age-associated decline in female gamete quantity and quality. Our research will improve the fertile-span and health-span across generations through discovery of novel cellular pathways for therapeutic interventions.
- Kusuhara A, Babayev E, Zhou LT, Singh VP, Gerton JL, Duncan FE Immature Follicular Origins and Disrupted Oocyte Growth Pathways Contribute to Decreased Gamete Quality During Reproductive Juvenescence in Mice. Front Cell Dev Biol 2021;9:693742. doi:10.3389/fcell.2021.693742
- Machlin JH, Barishansky SJ, Kelsh J, Larmore MJ, Johnson BW, Pritchard MT, Pavone ME, Duncan FE Fibroinflammatory Signatures Increase with Age in the Human Ovary and Follicular Fluid. Int J Mol Sci 2021 May 05;22(9). pii:4902
- Marvaldi C, Martin D, Conte JG, Gottardo MF, Pidre ML, Imsen M, Irizarri M, Manuel SL, Duncan FE, Romanowski V et al. Mitochondrial humanin peptide acts as a cytoprotective factor in granulosa cell survival. Reproduction 2021 Apr 20;161(5):581-591. doi:10.1530/REP-20-0197
- Kristensen SG, Duncan FE Autonomous follicle growth and the production of mature human eggs in vitro: with or without the ovary? Hum Reprod 2021 04 20;36(5):1163-1165. doi:10.1093/humrep/deab052