Research Interests:Our current research interest is the regulatory role of glycoproteins secreted by the oviduct in sperm-egg interaction and reproductive functions. Our research focuses on the study of how the postovulatory environment in the oviduct influences gamete maturation, fertilization, and preimplantation development. We are also interested in the structure-function relationship between oviductal secretions and other ovary-specific glycoproteins that make up the zona pellucida of postovulatory oocytes. We have recently produced a human recombinant oviduct-specific glycoprotein (oviductin). We are particularly interested in studying the role of human oviductin in stimulating the increase in tyrosine phosphorylation of sperm proteins during capacitation and in the enhancement of sperm-egg binding with the hope of defining sperm quality and fertilizing competence for proper and ethical use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) in alleviating male infertility. Another project being undertaken in our laboratory involves the study of MUC1 in endometrial functions. MUC1 is a member of the mucin family of molecules which is expressed at the apical surface of the glandular and luminal epithelium of the endometrium. To gain a better understanding of the effects of diabetes on endometrial functions at reproductive age, we utilize the spontaneously developing type 1 diabetic NOD mouse and type II diabetic mouse models to investigate the effects of diabetes on the endometrial expression and production of mucins and their regulatory cytokines during the estrous cycle and embryo implantation.
Sources of Research Funds: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Kingston General Hospital Medical Research Fund