Congratulations to REI Fellow Kathryn Shaia, MD, MHA, who was awarded funding in the amount of $15,000 by the The Foundation for Embryonic Competence. The title of the research project is “The role of progesterone in preimplantation human embryo metabolism.” Dr. Shaia's faculty mentor is Thomas Price, MD.
The goal of this study is to assess whether progesterone treatment increases mitochondrial activity with consequential changes in gene expression in cleavage-stage embryos.
She summarized her research as follows, "We believe that progesterone, acting via a mitochondrial progesterone receptor, will increase beta-oxidation of endogenous fatty acids to enhance cellular energy production. Downhill gene expression will be affected by an increase in trophoblastic implantation, beta-oxidation, and oxidative phosphorylation related transcripts."