- Role: PhD StudentGroup: Sex Development
Area of study:
Sex Development and Developmental Biology
Year of enrolment:
Why did you choose Hudson Institute and your research group?
I have always had an interest in developmental and reproductive biology, and through visiting Hudson Institute during a short research placement in 2019, I knew that this was a place I would feel supported for a PhD. Finding the Sex Developmental Research group felt as though this was the perfect alignment of my interests!
What is your research about and what do you hope to achieve?
Intersex conditions are those in which a baby is born with neither typical male nor female genitalia and, in around 50 per cent of cases, we don't know the genetical aetiology underpinning these differences. In my research, I am looking at which genes are switched on by an important transcription factor called SOX9. SOX9 is present in both males and females, but in males (in conjunction with the Y chromosome gene SRY) this switch gene helps to promote typical male-sex development. Identifying targets of SOX9 will help expand our understanding of variations leading to intersex conditions, and uncover the currently unknown processes in sex development.