2016 SRB ECR Collaborative Research Travel Award
Dr Sheena Regan (Curtin University) and Dr Shayanti Mukherjee (Hudson Institute)
This award will establish a new collaboration between two ECR researchers with the aim of studying, isolating and culturing ovarian mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) progenitors or pericytes. The travel grant will provide an opportunity for Sheena to be trained in using FACS sorting protocols in Caroline Gargett’s lab at the Hudson Institute. Specifically, the isolation of pericytes from ovarian cortex will be isolated and cultured to undertake clonogenicity and self-renewal studies. Growth factors secreted by the pericytes will also be assayed. The two researchers will then work together to develop a 3D organoid culture protocol using tunable nanotechology to assess pericyte/MSC interactions with the microenvironment. The outcome of this collaboration should lead to publications and the generation of data for future grant applications and collaborations.
Dr Michael Pankhurst (University of Otago) and Ms Rebecca Kelley (University of Melbourne)
The funds will be used for Dr Pankhurst to travel to the University of Melbourne to learn how to collect, handle and vitrify mouse oocytes and embryos, and how to transfer them to pseudopregnant recipients to assess fetal development. Dr Pankhurst will use this technology at the University of Otago to investigate female infertility in a transgenic mouse strain (Thy1.2-AMH). In addition to Dr Pankhurst’s training, the Travel Award will enable Ms Kelley and Dr Pankhurst to discuss experiments and for Ms Kelley to culture wild-type mouse embryos in vitro with and without the addition of recombinant AMH to the culture medium to examine the role of AMH in preimplantation embryo development. This collaboration will result in not only the learning of new techniques but an additional publication for both researchers.