From left to right: Allison Spihlman, Haley Abbott, Nafisa Nuzhat, Kanako Ikami, and Lei Lei 
Our Focus:

Mature mammalian oocytes have a unique ability to program/reprogram early embryogenesis to generate a new life.  A lingering mystery of mammalian oogenesis is continuous germ cell loss. In the human fetal ovary, over 90% of germ cells undergo apoptosis without differentiating into primary oocytes; in the adult ovary, 99% of primary oocytes stay quiescent and undergo apoptosis without ever initiating the development into mature oocytes. Issues currently plaguing women’s heath, such as infertility, premature ovarian failure, and menopause, are directly related to the diminishing number of primary oocytes. After the primary oocytes are depleted, derangement of ovarian somatic cells resulting from the absence of normal oocyte signals is likely to contribute to the rising incidence of ovarian cancer. 

This research will help us understand limited reproductive lifespan and ovarian diseases in females, and explore the possible therapies for maintaining and restoring normal ovarian function. 


Lab News 

September 2017
Welcome to the lab rotation students; Julie Kibui, Renee Conway, Mara Harwood, Kenneth Trieu, and Veerin Sirihorachai!

August 2017
Congrats Kanako on receiving The 2018 Overseas Research Fellow award by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). Great job! 

May 2017
Congrats Lab on being awarded the CDB Beattie Award in Stem Cell Biology! 

February 2017
Congrats Lei, Kanako, and Nafisa on publishing a review paper on 

Organelle Transport during Mouse Oocyte Differentiation in Germline Cysts. Read it here!!

December 2016 Congrats Kanako! She received the Uehara Memorial Foundation research Fellowship. 

September 2016
Welcome, Bridget Waas, our rotation student for the semester!  
Welcome Haley Abbot and Allison Spihlman! Our new research technician and undergraduate research assistant. 

July 2016
Welcome, Lisa Pinatti! She is the Lab's first rotation student joining us for the summer.  

June 2016
Congrats Lei! The lab has been awarded a Jones Foundation Young Investigators Achievement Award! Only one award is granted each year to foster the career development of a young research faculty investigator working in the field of reproductive medicine. 

Lab Openings
1) Lei Lab is currently accepting rotation students for the upcoming school year. 

2) Undergraduate Research Scholar Opportunity: A spot now open for Summer 2017 and the following 2017/2018 academic year!