RESEARCH RETREAT TODAY at JABSOM’s prestigious Institute for Biogenesis Research

The first Developmental and Reproductive Biology Graduate Program Students Retreat is happening on the University of Hawai`i Mānoa Campus this Friday, March 1, 2013. It will be hosted by the Institute for Biogenesis Research (IBR), in the Biomedical Sciences Building. During the retreat the DRB students will present their research highlights for discussion with peers and faculty. Thirteen MS and PhD students will be presenting and the audience will be DRB Graduate Program students, mentors, IBR faculty and staff, and invited faculty from other units.

Hieu Nguyen, a graduate student at the IBR.

Hieu Nguyen, a graduate student at the IBR.

The Graduate Program in Developmental and Reproductive Biology (DRB) is a new program, which began its current curriculum in Fall 2009. The program is based on one of the premiere research units of the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), the Institute for Biogenesis Research(IBR). Degrees offered include Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences (Developmental and Reproductive Biology). The program is administered by the Graduate Program Committee of the Department of Anatomy, Biochemistry and Physiology. Currently, there are 18 graduate students enrolled, including 7 PhD candidates. The DRB graduate program is a productive, vital program at UH-Manoa with a strong focus on research.

Innovative Research

Aileen Li, presenting a research poster.

Aileen Li, presenting a research poster.

The talks will cover various aspects of developmental and reproductive biology.  As an example may serve work performed and to be presented by the 2nd year MS student Carolyn Higuchi, mentored by JABSOM faculty Assistant Professor Yukiko Yamazaki. Carolyn will report on the project that may benefit female cancer patients. Cancer patients are often at risk of losing their future fertility due to ovary damage from therapeutic treatment. In vitro ovarian culture combined with ovary cryopreservation is a promising system for fertility preservation of these patients. Carolyn has successfully developed a novel three-dimensional (3-D) ovarian tissue culture system in mice. After culturing immature ovarian tissues for 10 days, she obtained healthy mature oocytes. After in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer some of these oocytes developed into healthy mouse pups.

IBRʻs Legacy and Continuing Excellence

The world's first transgenic mice.                                                                                                  JABSOM Institute for Biogenesis Research photo.

The world’s first transgenic mice.
JABSOM Institute for Biogenesis Research photo.


The IBR was established in 1999 by the State of Hawai`i and UH Manoa in the John A. Burns School of Medicine Department of Anatomy & Reproductive Biology, to continue the legacy of reproductive biology research pioneered by National Academy member Dr. Ryuzo Yanagimachi. Dr. Yanagimachi and his team produced major breakthroughs in reproductive biology, including the development of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), the principles underlying in vitro fertilization (IVF) in mammals, the first demonstration of repetitive mammalian cloning, and ICSI-mediated transgenic (“glowing green”) mice. Through partnership with the JABSOM clinical Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Pacific IVF Institute, the IBR supports translational projects designed to advance the science of reproduction and reduce infertility and birth defects for children through the latest molecular, cellular, and micro-techniques, many of which were developed at UH.

Mahalo to Associate Professor Dr. Monika Ward for contributing text and photos for this story. For more information about the program, see:

Our main photograph shows graduate student Carolyn Higuchi.

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