Dr Josephine Bowles is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Queensland. Her research team focuses on the regulation and sexual development of mammalian fetal germ cells. The aim is to understand all of the signalling that is necessary to instruct naive germ cells to embark on either oogenesis or spermatogenesis. The group also studies the etiology of testicular germ cell cancer and, in particular, how abnormal regulation during fetal life predisposes germ cells to turn tumorigenic during adult life. Key discoveries include 1) that retinoic acid in the fetal ovarian environment triggers germ cells to embark on meiosis; 2) that testicular germ cell fate is dependent on FGF signalling; and 3) that the Nodal/Cripto signalling pathway is normally active in germ cells of the fetal testis and abnormally active in certain forms of testis cancer. The studies have relevance to medical problems including fertility/infertility and testicular cancer as well as to our understanding of stem cell biology more broadly. The research is funded by NHMRC, Cancer Council Queensland and ARC.
Abstracts this author is presenting: