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Reproductive Physiology at Washington State University Pru Laboratory

About our Research

Our research focuses on understanding molecular events coordinating the physiology of embryo implantation. With a basic understanding of these processes, the long-term goal is to identify mechanisms that, when gone awry, contribute to infertility during early gestation (e.g., recurrent pregnancy loss). Related to embryo implantation, we are specifically interested in the processes by which the embryo signals its presence as it invades the uterine wall in an effort to establish an exchange apparatus for nutrients and waste. As part of this process, we are investigating glucocorticoid signaling at the maternal:embryo interface. As progesterone coordinates many of the aspects of embryo implantation, we are also interested in how ovarian-derived progesterone signals in the endometrium by non-classical mechanisms. We recently demonstrated expression of a novel membrane progestin receptor in the uterus and ongoing studies are designed to test the importance of this putative receptor in uterine function. In related studies, efforts are being made to learn how resident stem/progenitor cells of the endometrium contribute to uterine repair during the estrous/menstrual cycle and following parturition.