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Reproduction and Development

This field brings together our research interests in women’s health and reproduction, pregnancy, human development and the newborn. It involves work in Human Anatomy and Genetics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Paediatric Surgery, Physiology, Public Health and Primary Care, the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics and the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine.

Much of the work is multidisciplinary and extends from basic molecular work, through cell and developmental biology, to clinical and epidemiological research. The relevant genetics research includes a powerful programme investigating the genetic basis of endometriosis through work in the human and rhesus macaque and work on mitochondrial inheritance and related disease. There is an emphasis on endometrial cell biology through research on angiogenic mechanisms and cell-matrix interactions and their clinical implications in health and disease.

Similarly pre-implantation embryonic development and implantation are key areas of study addressing not only clinical problems but also providing a basis for human embryonic stem cell research which will be a priority in the coming years, building on established Oxford expertise in small mammal embryonic stem cells and on the therapeutic potential of adult stem cells. (High-ranking stem cell work is already undertaken in the Dunn School and elsewhere in the Division.)

The placental research group makes an internationally important contribution to the understanding of trophoblast biology and conditions of disordered placentation complemented, across the Division, by research on fetal development, fetal physiology and the control of growth as well as by clinical studies through pregnancy and into the neonatal period.