"Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought." -Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Hormonal Regulation of Receptivity and Implantation

The uterine tube folds randomly in the absence of pregnancy but folds acquire a stereotypic pattern close to embryo attachment. Uterine folds also give rise to the implantation chamber that homes the embryos during attachment. We are using genetic mouse mutants, gene expression analysis and 3D imaging to understand how hormones guide the formation of uterine folds how these pre-implantation folds affect the fate of the embryo post-implantation. (Arora et. al, Development, 2016)

Folding gives rise to uterine crypts in the mouse uterus.

Uterine Gland Branching Morphogenesis

Uterine glands branch differentially during implantation.

In a mammalian pregnancy, uterine glands nourish the embryo until the placenta forms. The uterine glands undergo patterning and reorganization at the time of embryo implantation. Using different image analysis platforms we are dissecting the structure of the uterine glands and the changes that accompany implantation. Using spatial localization of the glands with respect to the other cell types, we will determine the functional consequences of these architectural glandular changes.

To view a 3D rendering of the uterine lumen and glands click

Quantitative Imaging and Modeling

Heat map quantifying folding in a pregnant mouse uterus.

We are using quantitative approaches to measure changes that occur in the uterine luminal and glandular architecture to prepare for pregnancy. We are also applying these methods to conditions where implantation fails to occur.

 Mechanisms that regulate Embryo Movement

Embryo movement schematic.png

Embryos in mice display both unidirectional and bidirectional movement in the uterus before they undergo implantation. Embryo movement in mice is distinct from the unidirectional only movement observed in rats and rabbits. We are investigating muscle contractions and ovarian hormone signaling as potential regulators of embryo movement. (Flores et. al, Development, 2020)