1 February 2018:
CNBP and Robinson Research Institute researcher Dr Hannah Brown, University of Adelaide is lead author on a newly published paper that looks to understand why pregnancy failure and pregnancy loss occurs in women with diabetes. The paper was published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.
Publication title: Periconception onset diabetes is associated with embryopathy and fetal growth retardation, reproductive tract hyperglycosylation and impaired immune adaptation to pregnancy.
Authors: Hannah M. Brown, Ella S. Green, Tiffany C. Y. Tan, Macarena B. Gonzalez, Alice R. Rumbold, M. Louise Hull, Robert J. Norman, Nicolle H. Packer, Sarah A. Robertson & Jeremy G. Thompson.
Abstract: Diabetes has been linked with impaired fertility but the underlying mechanisms are not well defined. Here we use a streptozotocin-induced diabetes mouse model to investigate the cellular and biochemical changes in conceptus and maternal tissues that accompany hyperglycaemia. We report that streptozotocin treatment before conception induces profound intra-cellular protein β-O-glycosylation (O-GlcNAc) in the oviduct and uterine epithelium, prominent in early pregnancy. Diabetic mice have impaired blastocyst development and reduced embryo implantation rates, and delayed mid-gestation growth and development. Peri-conception changes are accompanied by increased expression of pro-inflammatory cytokine Trail, and a trend towards increased Il1a, Tnf and Ifng in the uterus, and changes in local T-cell dynamics that skew the adaptive immune response to pregnancy, resulting in 60% fewer anti-inflammatory regulatory T-cells within the uterus-draining lymph nodes. Activation of the heat shock chaperones, a mechanism for stress deflection, was evident in the reproductive tract. Additionally, we show that the embryo exhibits elevated hyper-O-GlcNAcylation of both cytoplasmic and nuclear proteins, associated with activation of DNA damage (ɣH2AX) pathways. These results advance understanding of the impact of peri-conception diabetes, and provide a foundation for designing interventions to support healthy conception without propagation of disease legacy to offspring.
8 August 2017:
CNBP was well represented at the STA ‘Science meets Policymakers’ event held in Canberra, August 8, 2017.
Researchers A/Prof Guozhen Liu, Dr Alf Garcia-Bennett, Dr Sanam Mustafa and Dr Hannah Brown all attended and heard a number of talks on topics ranging from ‘A Whole Government approach to Science Policy’, to ‘A Crash-course in STEM and Policy Making’ through to discussion on ‘Positive and Meaningful Contributions to Policy.’
A/Prof Guozhen Liu particularly enjoyed the ‘Working Round Table’ discussion. “We discussed the 2030 Strategic Plan for the Australian Innovation, Science and Research System, which will help shape future science activity in Australia. It was emphasized that Australia encourages both fundamental and applied research, and that research excellence is key.”
A/Prof Liu also noted the importance of effective communication between stakeholders. “Methods and approaches to drive effective and engaged connections between Universities, Government and Industry were topics that were explored and discussed in depth throughout the day.”
The ‘Science meets Policymakers’ event brought together researchers and practitioners from a range of science and technology disciplines, with policymakers from across government departments and agencies. Objectives included to make connections and to examine the intersection between the evidence base and actual policy development.
3 July 2017:
Congratulations to CNBP’s Dr Hannah Brown and Dr Sanam Mustafa, both from the University of Adelaide and both selected to participate in the inaugural 2017 Superstars of STEM program.
The program, implemented by ‘Science and Technology Australia’, supports 30 women employed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to become highly visible public role models.
All participants will be trained in public speaking, media, and communicating with influence, with the objective of inspiring and encouraging young women in their STEM related education and study.
Opportunities provided by the program will include mainstream media interviews, speaker slots at public, corporate and Government events as well as support for local high school visits.
“This program will directly encourage young women and girls to study and stay in STEM – by speaking with them in their schools and workplaces, and by providing prominent public role models for them to aspire to,” STA CEO Kylie Walker said.
The program was launched today by Professor Emma Johnston (STA President-Elect) and Senator the Hon Arthur Sindodinos, Minister for Industry, Innovation & Science.
21 April 2017:
CNBP’s Dr Hannah Brown (pictured), together with Prof Ben Mol, the University of Adelaide and Melinda Cruz, CEO and Founder of Miracle Babies Foundation, believe that social media interaction and scientific activity should go hand-in-hand.
They argue that increased social engagement by scientists with collaborators, the media, governing and funding bodies, government and consumers underlies research success.
Check out their latest written piece, ‘Social media is essential for research engagement‘ in BJOG, an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
31 January 2017:
“Now, more than ever, in a world filled with ‘fake news’, it’s up to researchers to work hard to have accurate messages publicised,” says CNBP researcher Dr Hannah Brown in an article published in The Conversation. Read more on how scientists and the media can work together to effectively bring science to the public.
22 November 2016:
Failure to launch: aberrant cumulus gene expression during oocyte in vitro maturation
Hannah M Brown, Kylie R Dunning, Melanie Sutton-McDowall, Robert B Gilchrist,
Jeremy G Thompson and Darryl L Russell
In vitro maturation (IVM) offers significant benefits for human infertility treatment and animal breeding, but this potential is yet to be
fully realised due to reduced oocyte developmental competence in comparison with in vivo matured oocytes. Cumulus cells occupy
an essential position in determining oocyte developmental competence. Here we have examined the areas of deficient gene
expression, as determined within microarrays primarily from cumulus cells of mouse COCs, but also other species, between in vivo
matured and in vitro matured oocytes. By retrospectively analysing the literature, directed by focussing on downregulated genes, we
provide an insight as to why the in vitro cumulus cells fail to support full oocyte potential and dissect molecular pathways that have
important roles in oocyte competence. We conclude that the roles of epidermal growth factor signalling, the expanded extracellular
matrix, cumulus cell metabolism and the immune system are critical deficiencies in cumulus cells of IVM COCs.
3 August 2016:
“While it’s possible to conceive later in life, it’s a risky decision,” says CNBP researcher Dr Hannah Brown who looked at risks and complications associated with pregnancy and childbirth in an article published today in ‘The Conversation’.
20 July 2016:
Congratulations to CNBP researcher Dr Hannah Brown who has been awarded the Australia/New Zealand best regional abstract award at the Society for the Study of Reproduction conference in San Diego, July 2016.
The annual conference is the premier research meeting in Reproductive Biology with well over a thousand delegates in attendance.
Her abstract, entitled “Diabetes: dramatically altering the health of the pre-implantation embryo and reproductive tract” continues her ground-breaking work in metaboloepigenetics.
7 July 2016:
CNBP’s Dr Hannah Brown is profiled in the latest issue of Lumen Magazine from the University of Adelaide.
In an inspiring article, Hannah discusses her pioneering research and work in the field of fertility treatment and talks about the people and the projects that have motivated her along the way.
1 May 2016:
CNBP researchers Dr Hannah Brown, Dr Sabrina Heng and Dr Erik Schartner (pictured) presented invited talks to a range of researchers and clinicians at the ‘Scientists in Reproductive Technology (SIRT)’ conference in Adelaide on the 1st of May, 2016.
Explored in their talks were differing ways in which upcoming Centre research might find use within the embryology labs of the future – this tying into the meeting theme “From basic research to clinical practice: How to revolutionise IVF practice.”
Talk titles from the CNBP researchers were as follows:
- Hannah: Haemoglobin: Exciting and unexpected roles in fertility.
- Sabrina: Developing light-driven regenerable chemical tools for biological applications.
- Erik: Developing optical fibre probes for biosensing.
Further information on Scientists in Reproductive Technology (SIRT), a sub-group representing the scientific membership of The Fertility Society of Australia, can be found online.