Thank you! In my group, we look at how various tissues in the body form and function, with a particular emphasis on tissues that act as barriers, connecting with the external environment. We are deciphering the intricate communication processes that enable cells to come together and form these barrier tissues, many of which are rich in immune cells.
One of our most exciting areas of study centres around the uterus. During pregnancy, the uterine lining undergoes a remarkable transformation into the placenta, a complex organ that facilitates the exchange of nutrients and waste between the mother and the growing foetus. The uterus undergoes significant changes in structure, blood supply, and hormonal responsiveness to support the developing embryo and ensure a successful pregnancy. Striking the right balance between allowing implantation and gestation of the embryo while safeguarding against infections to the mother requires highly intricate immune mechanisms.
Outside of pregnancy too, the uterus is an incredibly unique part of the female body. No other tissue perfectly breaks down and regenerates every single month - around 400 times in the average woman’s lifetime. It also leaves no scarring whatsoever, vanishing without a trace. We as researchers, and not just those working in women’s health, have lots to learn about the remarkable regeneration of this tissue.