David Page studies the genetic and developmental foundations of mammalian reproduction and sexual dimorphism. The two broad goals of his laboratory are to understand sex chromosome biology and evolution through comparative genomic sequencing in nine vertebrates and to elucidate the early development of eggs and sperm.
Regulation of Mammalian Germ Cell Differentiation and Development
Our lab studies the foundations of mammalian reproduction and sexual differentiation, with particular focus on 1) sex chromosome genomics, biology, and evolution; 2) the origins and development of eggs and sperm; and 3) sex biases in human disease. One of the long-term goals of the lab is to understand how germ cells are made in the embryo. We have recently identified a gene, Dazl, which is essential for the differentiation of embryonic germ cells. This project will focus on the transition from a primordial germ cell to a gametogenesis competent cell that is capable of adopting a male or female identity and initiating meiosis. Disrupting this process leads to embryonic germ cell death and infertility. This research has implications for basic cellular and reproductive biology and for studies of infertility. Students will have an opportunity to learn several laboratory techniques, such as tissue dissections, histology, cell culture, and working with a transgenic mouse colony.