Developmental Physiology Laboratory

Lab head: Margot Day
Location: K25 - Medical Foundation Building

Research conducted by this laboratory is related to the cellular processes occurring during development of the embryo before implantation, including fertilisation, cell division and cell differentiation. In particular, this laboratory is studying the regulation of ion channels during development and whether they are involved in progression of the cell cycle. This laboratory has recently demonstrated the existence of a novel cell cycle clock, in early embryos, which functions independently of the nucleus. This laboratory is currently investigating the intracellular signalling pathways involved in regulation of this clock and how it is linked to the nuclear cell cycle. This laboratory uses techniques such as patch-clamping, molecular biology and methods for studying protein expression.

Current research:

  • Inhibition of gene expression with antisense oligonucleotides


  • Expression of ether-a-go-go related potassium channels during development


  • Cell cycle regulation of ion channels in early embryos


  • pH regulation in early embryos


  • Expression of circadian rhythm genes in early embryos


Lab members: M Day (head)

Impact of growth factors on early embryo development in vitro

Primary supervisor: Margot Day

Maternally-derived factors are absent during embryo culture and embryo-derived factors are often inactive because of sub-optimal culture conditions. This project will investigate which factors improve embryo development following IVF and culture. It will also investigate the intracellular signalling pathways utilised by these factors.

Research in the laboratory utilizes a number of techniques including mouse embryo culture, fluorescent measurement of intracellular ions, patch-clamping and molecular biology.

Discipline: Physiology