Larry Reynolds, NDSU University Distinguished Professor of animal sciences, recently received a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award to conduct collaborative research and teach at the University of Murcia in Spain.
The project is entitled, “Research in Assisted Reproductive Technologies/Teaching in Master in Biology and Technology of Reproduction in Mammals,” and is tentatively scheduled to take place in October through December.
“I know the colleagues that I will be working with at the University of Murcia, and have great respect for their work, so I am very excited to establish collaborations there both in research and teaching,” said Reynolds.
Along with several NDSU animal sciences department colleagues, including Pawel Borowicz, Joel Caton, Carl Dahlen, Kimberly Vonnahme and Alison Ward, Reynolds has done extensive studies of how fetal development is affected by maternal nutrition. With NDSU colleague Anna Grazul-Bilska in animal sciences, he also has shown profound negative effects of various assisted reproductive technologies, including in vitro fertilization, on embryonic and fetal development during early pregnancy. The studies at the University of Murcia will focus on the effects of assisted reproductive technologies on genomic imprinting in the embryo, fetus and placenta in cattle and pigs.
Genomic imprinting refers to parent-of-origin-specific gene expression. Genomic imprinting ensures that the relevant parental genomes are marked (in part, by the mechanism of DNA methylation) in the gametes to be active or inactive in the offspring. Many imprinted genes are implicated in the growth and development of the embryo, fetus and placenta, and imprinting disorders have been observed after in vitro fertilization, cloning and other reproductive technologies, which could explain the intrauterine growth restriction often seen in offspring from these pregnancies.
He also will be involved in teaching courses in the master’s and doctoral programs in veterinary medicine, including a course entitled “Fertilization, Embryo Development and Pregnancy," and others.
The University of Murcia was established in 1272, and is the third-oldest university in Spain. With about 38,000 students, it offers degrees in a variety of areas, including dentistry, law, medicine and veterinary medicine.
The Fulbright Scholars program is supported and managed by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It was established in 1946 with passage of a bill sponsored by Sen. J. William Fulbright. Through binational partnerships with foreign governments, the program sponsors U.S. and foreign participants for exchanges in the sciences, business, academe, public service, government and the arts.
As a student-focused, land-grant, research university, we serve our citizens.