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CRS Trainees Awarded at SSR Virtual

Please join the Center for Reproductive Science in congratulating Dr. Farners Amargant i Riera, PhD, and Yu-Ying Chen for placing second respectively at the Society for the Study of Reproduction's Virtual Conference! We asked Farners and Yu-Ying to reflect upon their work and this achievement - check out what they have to say below:


Farners Amargant i Riera, PhD

Trainee Research Platform Competition: Post-Doctoral - Second Place

Presentation Title: Age-dependent dysregulation of hyaluronan and collagen matrices alters ovarian biomechanical properties. 

In this work we investigated whether the ovarian biomechanical properties change with age and the mechanism behind these changes. Briefly, we found that with age the ovary becomes stiffer and this is achieved by an increase of collagen content and a total decrease in the hyaluronan content in the ovarian stroma. Interestingly, we also described this same mechanism in humans. 

I am very happy with this recognition and having had the opportunity to represent our Center for Reproductive Science at the first virtual SSR meeting! This award would not have been possible without the help of all the incredible Duncan lab members, especially Dr. Duncan, as well as all our collaborators, Dr. Pritchard (KUMC), Dr. Tu (Texas A&M), and Dr. Hall (Wake Forest University). I am very grateful to all of them. 

 Fun New Quarantine Activity: I tried to develop my creative capacity by drawing, cooking and reading.



Yu-Ying Chen

Trainee Research Platform Competition: Pre-Doctoral - Second Place

Presentation Title: Regulatory roles of zinc fluxes in early murine follicle development

 Women are born with a fixed number of dormant germ cells, and so far we still don't fully understand how these cells activate and grow into a fertilizable egg.  Our study showed that zinc physiology is different between the dormant and the activated germ cells, and that zinc signaling participates in germ cell growth. We hope this will let us to better understand the regulatory mechanism of  germ cell development and also provide new techniques for manipulating germ cell ex vivo.

I am very honored to be recognized by the SSR organizing committee. I am glad that the meeting was able to continue in virtual. I learned so much from all other phenomenal talks and poster presentations, as well as the roundtable talks with the SSR mentors!

I would like to thank my advisor Dr. Woodruff and my committee Dr. O'Halloran and Dr. Duncan for their continued support throughout my project development process. I would also like to thank my dear labmates, especially those that have rehearsed with me for multiple times: Sarah, Hannes, Max, Farners, Hoi-Chang, and Seth. Thank you all!  

Fun New Quarantine Activity: I was planting tomatoes, herbs, and veggies (but I was only able to harvest them after the quarantine had ended). I was also practicing my Spanish by watching La casa de las flores. It was really fun!