Our work focuses on three interrelated questions: do all developing germ cells have equal potential to give rise to functional eggs or sperm; how do environmental inputs affect germ cells during development, and what is the role of germ cells in ovarian and systemic aging? Using mouse models, human cells, and naked mole rats, we explore these questions in the real-world contexts of germ cell tumors (teratomas), exposures to chemicals and psychosocial stress as well as genetic causes of infertility such as Fragile X Primary Ovarian Insufficiency. Our work spans the fields of epigenetics, developmental and stem cell biology, and cancer biology. We are also part of the P30 Center for Environmental Research and Translation for Health
(EaRTH) at UCSF. As a federally-funded lab in a public university, our broad mission is to advance knowledge toward improving human health, provide research training for students and postdoctoral fellows, and promote public awareness of science.