Faculty and Research Interests
Elizabeth A. McGee, M.D.
M.D. University of Tennessee
Dr McGee's research is in ovarian physiology and she has
two main foci of
her current studies. The first is the study of the TGFb family
factors and their regulation of early ovarian follicle development.
McGee has developed a serum-free follicle culture system in
follicles can be grown for many days. Using this system she
that TGFb and activin have different effects on early follicle
Current work in her lab focuses on the role of the downstream
molecules of the TGFb family and how they may function to
follicle development. A key feature of these studies involves
mouse that is deficient in the TGFb signaling molecule Smad3.
These mice are
infertile and have abnormal follicle growth. This provides
a very useful
model for the investigation of TGFb family signaling in ovarian
function.The second focus of Dr. McGee's work is the development
of a system of
follicle culture that can support follicle development from
stage up to oocyte maturity. A system of in vitro folliculogenesis
useful as tool for further study of follicle regulation but
also as a
potential treatment of infertility of women and girls who
ovarian damaging chemotherapy or radiation. There is no current
support the in vitro maturation of human or primate follicles
tissue. She has had some success in the development of the
system for the growth of rat follicles, but this system does
not allow for
reliable growth past the antral transition of follicle development.
work focuses on optimizing conditions necessary for prolonged
development in vitro.
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