Degree: B.S, M.S, PhD
Nationality: International Students
Application deadlines: Open until the position has been filled.
Our lab aims to understand cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying sexual differentiation of reproductive tracts. Before sexual differentiation, both primitive male and female reproductive tracts co-exist in an embryo. During sexual differentiation, the embryo eliminates one of the two primitive tracts and maintains exclusively the one matching to its sex. The retained sex-specific tract eventually differentiates into a functional organ in the adult reproductive system. Sexual differentiation and function of reproductive tracts are regulated/influenced by actions of sex hormones. Therefore, during differentiation, the male and female reproductive tract must acquire/develop proper responsiveness to sex hormones; environmental chemicals mimicking sex hormones can have adverse effects on reproductive tract differentiation. We are particularly interested in and focus on understanding mechanisms underlying the above phenomena:
- How are sex-specific fates of two primitive reproductive tracts regulated?
- How does the male and female reproductive tract acquire/develop proper responsiveness to male and female sex hormones, respectively?
- How do environmental chemicals that interfere with sex hormone signaling affect reproductive tract differentiation?
We address these questions by utilizing transgenic and conditional knockout mouse models, ex vivo organ culture, gene/protein expression analyses, genomic and single-cell technologies. Disruptions in reproductive tract differentiation can lead to disorders of sex development and jeopardize an individual’s future reproductive potential. Our research will provide fundamental knowledge for the development of better strategies for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of related disorders of sex development and reproductive diseases.
Lab Website https://zhaolab.vetmed.wisc.edu/
Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying sexual differentiation of reproductive tracts
Graduate students can enter the lab through the following training programs:
- MOLECULAR & ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY
- COMPARATIVE BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES GRADUATE PROGRAM
- ENDOCRINOLOGY AND REPRODUCTIVE PHYSIOLOGY PROGRAM
It is also be possible for graduate students to enter the lab through other training programs. If you are interested in learning more about graduate research opportunities in the lab, please contact Dr. Fei Zhao.
We always welcome undergraduate students. At the beginning, you will be trained to perform basic techniques. When you have become proficient, you will work on your own projects.
A postdoctoral position is available to study how tissues acquire/develop proper responsiveness to sex hormones at the chromatin levels. Highly motivated and hard-working candidates are welcome to apply for this position.
A research intern is an employee who typically is continuing training after receipt of a bachelor’s or master’s degree. The candidates usually receive 2 to 3-year training, which would boost their career prospects.
If you are interested in our research, please contact Dr. Fei Zhao for more information on specific projects.
Fei Zhao ,Assistant Professor, Department of Comparative Biosciences