Transposable elements as cis-regulatory sequences

Ancient transposon sequences have the potential to regulate gene expression. This process is prominent in the placenta. Our research program seeks to explore the regulation and function of transposons in the human placenta, and their potential role in pregnancy complications.

We will use samples of placenta from complicated pregnancies to assess genetic and epigenetic changes at transposons, and conduction functional analysis of candidate regions using human trophoblast stem cells and human trophoblast organoids models.

Extravillous trophoblast cells in culture
Extravillous trophoblast differentiated from human trophoblast stem cells, in culture