Julie Mathieu

Of all the mysteries surrounding the beginning of human life, one question has drawn particular interest from researchers at the Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (ISCRM). Simply put, for women who are unable to get pregnant, what is happening at the cellular level that is preventing life from taking hold?

Finding an answer may bring joy to millions of women and their partners around the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than one in ten couples in the United States have trouble becoming pregnant[i].

Dr. Julie Mathieu is an Assistant Professor at Comp Med and Director of the CRISPR-Core at the Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (ISCRM).

Now, a paper in Nature Communications (Folliculin regulates mTORC1/2 and WNT pathways in early human pluripotency) details research that identifies a gene that may be complicit in many cases of human infertility. Dr. Julie Mathieu, an Assistant Professor at Comp Med and Director of ISCRM CRISPR-Core is the paper’s first author. Hannele Ruohola-Baker, Professor of Biochemistry and Associate Director of ISCRM, led the research team.

Ruohola-Baker is quick to emphasize that the study would not have been possible without several core capabilities that distinguish ISCRM as a world leader in stem cell-based research, including Dr. Mathieu’s skill with CRISPR[ii] technology, Yuliang Wang’s expertise with bioinformatics, and access to human stem cell lines developed by Dr. Carol Ware, Director of the Tom and Sue Ellison Stem Cell Core.