Pisarska Laboratory

The Pisarska Laboratory is a reproductive biology laboratory with two major areas of focus:

Ovarian Physiology

We are conducting research to determine how the ovary functions and why some women experience premature oocyte and follicle depletion leading to premature ovarian failure. We have focused on a gene known as forkhead L2 (FOXL2) that, when mutated, leads to premature ovarian failure. We are also conducting research on how certain tumors of the ovary, specifically granulosa cell tumors, develop. Different types of FOXL2 mutations lead to granulosa cell tumor formation;  we are trying to understand how different FOXL2 mutations alter granulosa cell function leading to tumor formation and follicle depletion.  

Molecular Determinants of Pregnancy Outcomes

We are currently looking at the roles played by genetics and epigenetics in adverse pregnancy outcomes. Specifically, we are trying to determine if adverse pregnancy outcomes associated with infertility treatments are the result of the underlying infertility or the treatments used for conception. We are looking at factors that are differentially regulated early in pregnancy and implantation and trying to understand how these factors regulate early development and implantation and subsequent adverse pregnancy outcomes. We have expanded our studies to look at early changes during implantation that lead specifically to premature labor and delivery.  These studies are being conducted in collaboration with the division of Maternal Fetal Medicine.