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Hypothalamic episode generators underlying the neural control of fertility

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Dervila Glynn.

This talk has been RESCHEDULED until November 8th at 16:00

Theme: Neurons, Networks and Circuits

Abstract: The hypothalamus controls diverse homeostatic functions including fertility. Neural episode generators are required to drive the intermittent pulsatile and surge profiles of reproductive hormone secretion that control gonadal function. Studies in genetic mouse models have been fundamental in defining the neural circuits forming these central pattern generators and the full range of in vitro and in vivo optogenetic and chemogenetic methodologies have enabled investigation into their mechanism of action. The seminar will outline studies defining the hypothalamic “GnRH pulse generator network” and current understanding of its operation to drive pulsatile hormone secretion.

Biography: Allan has spent most of his career studying the hypothalamic control of fertility, and moving backwards and forwards between Cambridge and his home country New Zealand. Upon completing a medical degree at the University of Otago Allan moved to Cambridge to undertake a PhD at The Babraham Institute where he continued as a PI until returning to Otago as Professor of Physiology. With the misfortune of coinciding with the appearance of the covid pandemic, Allan recently moved back to Cambridge as Professor of Neuroendocrinology in PDN supported by the Wellcome Trust. Research at cellular and whole animal levels has relied heavily on genetic mouse models to access and manipulate specific neuronal populations responsible for driving episodic hormone secretion underpinning mammalian fertility. Current experiments involve the use of in vivo GCaMP GRIN lens and photometry, in vitro brain slice recording and in vivo CRISPR -based gene knockdown.

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