Through its Division of Reproductive Biology, BMB is an epicenter of research and education in the area of reproductive biology at Johns Hopkins and in a broader, multi-institutional network.
The Drummond-Barbosa laboratory uses genetic mosaic analysis and confocal microscopy to investigate how nutrient-sensing pathways control stem cell lineages in the Drosophila fruitfly ovary. This research has implications for understanding how diet impacts stem cell biology in general, as well as later processes in oogenesis that are conserved across organisms. Confocal image shows a wildtype (normal) mosaic ovariole, where germline and follicle cell clones are recognized by the absence of green fluorescent protein. The fusome (a special early germline organelle), follicle cell membranes, and sheath nuclei are labeled in red. Image courtesy of Kaitlin Laws, a Ph.D. graduate student in the Drummond-Barbosa laboratory.
Reproductive biology research in BMB is primarily focused on the generation, maintenance and regulation of males and females gametes, their coming together to form a viable zygote (embryo) through the fascinating process of fertilization, along with the determinants of fertility and infertility. Gametogenesis and fertilization are uniquely important in that they ultimately represent the basis for species survival, species evolution, and evolutionary fitness. Research on gametogenesis entails the study of germ stem cells, which are produced through a specific form of cell division called meiosis. The recent recruitment of Daniela Drummond-Barbosa and Philip Jordan, whom are experts in the area of female and male gametogenesis, respectively, to our faculty significantly adds to the strength of our activities in this important area of medicine and public health. More can be learned here about the people and activities in the area of reproductive biology.