University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Diana Laird, PhD

Diana Laird, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, UCSF

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Pediatric Malignancies

Research Summary

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 prenatal exposures to endocrine-disrupting 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. 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.

Education

Stanford University, Stanford, CA, Ph.D., 03/2003, Biological Sciences
Sloan Kettering Institute, New York, NY, Postdoc, 12/2007, Developmental Genetics


Professional Experience

  • 2003 - 2007
    Postdoctoral Fellow, Sloan Kettering Institute, Developmental Genetics Program
  • 2008 - 2015
    Assistant Professor in Residence, Step 5 UCSF Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research
  • 2015 - present
    Associate Professor in Residence, Step 1
  • 2015 - present
    Co-director UCSF Environmental Health Initiative

Honors & Awards

  • 1990
    Tektronix Scholarship for undergraduates Tektronix Corporation (Beaverton, Oregon)
  • 1997
    NSF Predoctoral Fellowship in Biology National Science Foundation
  • 2002
    Keystone Symposium Scholarship Keystone Foundation
  • 2004
    Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fellowship Jane Coffin Childs Foundation
  • 2008
    Junior Faculty Startup Award Sandler Foundation
  • 2010
    Early Career Award Hellman Foundation
  • 2010
    New Innovator Award (DP2) NIH
  • 2016
    Deleage Prize for Young Investigators Deleage Foundation, UCSF

Selected Publications

  1. DiTroia SP, Percharde M, Guerquin MJ, Wall E, Collignon E, Ebata KT, Mesh K, Mahesula S, Agathocleous M, Laird DJ, Livera G, Ramalho-Santos M. Maternal vitamin C regulates reprogramming of DNA methylation and germline development. Nature. 2019 Sep; 573(7773):271-275.
    View on PubMed
  2. Nguyen DH, Jaszczak RG, Laird DJ. Heterogeneity of primordial germ cells. Curr Top Dev Biol. 2019; 135:155-201.
    View on PubMed
  3. Reznik B, Cincotta SA, Jaszczak RG, Mateo LJ, Shen J, Cao M, Baskin L, Ye P, An W, Laird DJ. Heterogeneity of transposon expression and activation of the repressive network in human fetal germ cells. Development. 2019 Feb 01; 146(12).
    View on PubMed
  4. Laird DJ. How to lose your inheritance. Nature. 2018 10; 562(7728):497-498.
    View on PubMed
  5. Susman MW, Karuna EP, Kunz RC, Gujral TS, Cantú AV, Choi SS, Jong BY, Okada K, Scales MK, Hum J, Hu LS, Kirschner MW, Nishinakamura R, Yamada S, Laird DJ, Jao LE, Gygi SP, Greenberg ME, Ho HH. Kinesin superfamily protein Kif26b links Wnt5a-Ror signaling to the control of cell and tissue behaviors in vertebrates. Elife. 2017 09 08; 6.
    View on PubMed
  6. Cantú AV, Laird DJ. A pilgrim's progress: Seeking meaning in primordial germ cell migration. Stem Cell Res. 2017 10; 24:181-187.
    View on PubMed
  7. Whitaker AT, Berthet E, Cantu A, Laird DJ, Alliston T. Smad4 regulates growth plate matrix production and chondrocyte polarity. Biol Open. 2017 Mar 15; 6(3):358-364.
    View on PubMed
  8. Curtis A, Li DJ, DeVeale B, Onishi K, Kim MY, Blelloch R, Laird DJ, Hui EE. Patterning of sharp cellular interfaces with a reconfigurable elastic substrate. Integr Biol (Camb). 2017 01 23; 9(1):50-57.
    View on PubMed
  9. Arora R, Fries A, Oelerich K, Marchuk K, Sabeur K, Giudice LC, Laird DJ. Insights from imaging the implanting embryo and the uterine environment in three dimensions. Development. 2016 12 15; 143(24):4749-4754.
    View on PubMed
  10. Arora R, Laird DJ. ROR2 in the adult mouse testis. Mol Reprod Dev. 2016 11; 83(11):943.
    View on PubMed
  11. Cantú AV, Altshuler-Keylin S, Laird DJ. Discrete somatic niches coordinate proliferation and migration of primordial germ cells via Wnt signaling. J Cell Biol. 2016 07 18; 214(2):215-29.
    View on PubMed
  12. Arora R, Abby E, Ross AD, Cantu AV, Kissner MD, Castro V, Ho HY, Livera G, Laird DJ. Meiotic onset is reliant on spatial distribution but independent of germ cell number in the mouse ovary. J Cell Sci. 2016 07 01; 129(13):2493-9.
    View on PubMed
  13. Tran ND, Kissner M, Subramanyam D, Parchem RJ, Laird DJ, Blelloch RH. A miR-372/let-7 Axis Regulates Human Germ Versus Somatic Cell Fates. Stem Cells. 2016 07; 34(7):1985-91.
    View on PubMed
  14. Sousa Martins JP, Liu X, Oke A, Arora R, Franciosi F, Viville S, Laird DJ, Fung JC, Conti M. DAZL and CPEB1 regulate mRNA translation synergistically during oocyte maturation. J Cell Sci. 2016 Mar 15; 129(6):1271-82.
    View on PubMed
  15. Chen JC, Hoffman JR, Arora R, Perrone LA, Gonzalez-Gomez CJ, Vo KC, Laird DJ, Irwin JC, Giudice LC. Cryopreservation and recovery of human endometrial epithelial cells with high viability, purity, and functional fidelity. Fertil Steril. 2016 Feb; 105(2):501-10.e1.
    View on PubMed
  16. Faire M, Skillern A, Arora R, Nguyen DH, Wang J, Chamberlain C, German MS, Fung JC, Laird DJ. Follicle dynamics and global organization in the intact mouse ovary. Dev Biol. 2015 Jul 01; 403(1):69-79.
    View on PubMed
  17. Arora R, Altman E, Tran ND, Laird DJ. Novel domains of expression for orphan receptor tyrosine kinase Ror2 in the human and mouse reproductive system. Dev Dyn. 2014 Aug; 243(8):1037-45.
    View on PubMed
  18. Cantú AV, Laird DJ. Wnt and Bmp fit germ cells to a T. Dev Cell. 2013 Dec 09; 27(5):485-7.
    View on PubMed
  19. Blaschke K, Ebata KT, Karimi MM, Zepeda-Martínez JA, Goyal P, Mahapatra S, Tam A, Laird DJ, Hirst M, Rao A, Lorincz MC, Ramalho-Santos M. Vitamin C induces Tet-dependent DNA demethylation and a blastocyst-like state in ES cells. Nature. 2013 Aug 08; 500(7461):222-6.
    View on PubMed
  20. Laird DJ. Humans put their eggs in more than one basket. Nat Cell Biol. 2013 Jan; 15(1):13-5.
    View on PubMed

Go to UCSF Profiles, powered by CTSI