Rheannon Blucher from the Germ Cell Development and Epigenetics Research Group at Hudson Institute

Rheannon Blucher


PhD student

Area of study:

Fetal testis and germ cell development

Year of enrolment:


Why did you choose Hudson Institute and your research group?

I chose Hudson Institute and the Germ Cell Development and Epigenetics Research group because I was fascinated by the complexity of germ cell development. I completed my Honours project in the same group, with my supervisor's passion for research contagious, which further drove my desire to answer the questions. By the time I finished my Honours project I had more questions than ever and chose to continue this work and answer these questions by undertaking a PhD.

What is your research about and what do you hope to achieve?

During fetal development, germ cells (which give rise to sperm or eggs) rely on signalling from the supporting cellular environment to encourage their commitment to either male or female fate. The signalling involved is quite complex, with failure to respond to certain messages or failure to commit to either male or female fate potentially resulting in infertility or the development of germ cell tumours. My research hopes to understand how one specific signalling pathway is involved in this process and the consequences of blocking this pathway on the development of the fetal testis and male germline.

What is it like being a student at Hudson Institute?

As a student, I feel well supported by my peers and supervisors at Hudson Institute. I also enjoy the exposure to other areas of research through the Hudson Seminar Series, where various academics come and talk about their current research. The Hudson Institute Student Society (HISS) also organises various events throughout the year, creating a friendly environment which brings students across Centres closer together.