Welcome to Winuthayanon Lab

at The University of Missouri

Our Research on Sex Steroid Hormones & Female Reproductive Biology

Evolution's driving force is the perpetuation of genetic lineages through survival and reproduction. Our research focuses on the reproductive aspect of life. While an individual's inability to reproduce doesn't directly threaten their survival, it does mark the end of their genetic legacy. This is indeed a consequence of natural selection. However, by gaining deeper insights into the mechanisms of reproduction, we may be able to assist those struggling with infertility, thereby enabling the continuation of their lineages. Conversely, this understanding could also aid in the development of more effective contraceptive methods. As the world's population exceeds 8 billion, one must consider the carrying capacity of our planet. How many people can Earth sustainably support? This question becomes increasingly relevant as we grapple with the delicate balance between facilitating reproduction and managing population growth through family planning measures informed by our scientific understanding.

Multiple types of cells in that female reproductive tract work in concert to provide an optimal microenvironment for gametes (eggs and sperm) and embryos to establish a successful pregnancy. At Winuthayanon Lab, we focus on studying how ovarian steroid hormones (estrogen and progesterone) affect fertility during sperm migration, fertilization, embryo development, and embryo transport within the female reproductive tract. We use genetic-engineered mouse models to dissect the molecular mechanisms and functional requirement of estrogen and progesterone signals through their classical nuclear receptors (estrogen receptor; ESR1 and progesterone receptor; PGR) during early pregnancy. Our research aims to provide fundamental knowledge in reproductive biology during early pregnancy as well as potential contraceptive targets for women and therapeutic approaches for infertility in humans.

We are not currently accepting new undergraduate research assistants, graduate students, or post-docs. Check back in the future.