Research in my laboratory focuses on mammalian germ cell and early embryonic development, with a major emphasis on the regulation of meiotic division in oocytes.
Gametes (oocytes and sperm) have the incomparable task of transmitting the genome to successive generations. Therefore, ensuring that chromosome segregation occurs with high fidelity during meiosis is of fundamental biological importance. Errors in meiotic division can result in aneuploidy (an abnormal number of chromosomes) and thus lead to genomic stability in gametes as well as developing embryos upon fertilization. Aneuploidy is the main cause of congenital birth defects and pregnancy loss in women. Oocytes are especially vulnerable to inaccuracies in chromosome segregation, particularly with increasing maternal age. We use various cellular and molecular biology approaches as well as unique genetic mouse models in current research projects to address the mechanisms that (1) regulate meiotic spindle assembly, and (2) monitor accurate chromosome attachment to spindle microtubules, as well as (3) assessing how these processes are may be compromised with increasing maternal age and exposure to environmental toxins.
- Germ Cell Development
- Meiotic Division
- Publications by Maria M. Viveiros may be found at PubMed.
- Researchers identify unique marker on mom’s chromosomes in early embryo