Reproductive Sciences

Division Details

Division Data Summary

Research and Training Details

Number of Faculty8
Number of Joint Appointment Faculty1
Number of Research Fellows14
Number of Research Students1
Number of Support Personnel11
Direct Annual Grant Support$847,088
Peer Reviewed Publications17

Division Photo

Reproductive Sciences

Row 1: Y Ogawa, SK Dey, T Daikoku, S Das

Row 2: Y Hirota, S Namekawa, T DeFalco, H Jones

Significant Accomplishments

Significant Accomplishments

How Testosterone Affects Fetal Development

Tony DeFalco, PhD, published a study, “Testosterone levels influence mouse fetal Leydig cell progenitors through Notch signaling” in April 2013 in Biology of Reproduction. The journal chose an image from his paper to use as the cover image.  Following publication, the NICHD chose to use the cover image as part of their hallway display dedicated to various grantees and NICHD investigators.

Top Ten Project in Reproductive Medicine

A frequently cited paper from the laboratory of S.K. Dey,PhD, was selected as a “Top Ten Project in Reproductive Medicine: Debating Breakthrough Basic and Clinical Papers with their Authors,” for a conference sponsored by the Serono Symposia International Foundation held in Florence, Italy, in September 2013. This paper, “Aberrant cannabinoid signaling impairs oviductal transport of embryos,” was published in Nature Medicine in 2004.  A preliminary selection of 50 papers (25 basic science, 25 clinical) was made based on their impact in the field and clinical relevance. The final 10 papers were chosen by an expert panel.

First Graduate Student Receives PhD with Outstanding Accomplishments

Jeeyeon Cha, MD, PhD, is the first graduate student to complete her PhD in the Division of Reproductive Sciences. She defended her thesis, “The role of muscle segment homeobox gene in early pregnancy events,” in June 2013, and was awarded her PhD with Outstanding Accomplishments. Cha has been a great asset to projects within the division and at other universities domestically and abroad. Cha also was lead author on a major paper in preterm birth, “Combinatory approaches prevent preterm birth profoundly exacerbated by gene-environment interactions,” which was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation in August 2013. This study also was highlighted by Biology of Reproduction in its “World of Reproductive Biology” section.

Research Highlights

SK Dey, PhD

Invited Speaker. MFM/NICU Lecture Series at University Hospital, University of Cincinnati, May 20, 2013, Cincinnati, OH.

Keynote Speaker. "Gene-Environment Interactions in Preterm Birth." C.S. Mott Center Scientific Retreat, May 15, 2013, Detroit, MI.

Invited Participant. NIH Sponsored 7th Collaborative Team Meeting on Interdisciplinary Research on Blastocyst Implantation Study Section, November 15-16, 2012, Rockville, MD.

Chair for Reproductive Tract Biology and Pregnancy Outcomes Module. Annual Society for the Study of Reproduction Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, State College, PA.

Sanjoy Das, PhD

Ad hoc participation in a NIH grant review for NICHD: U54 - Specialized Cooperative Centers Program in Reproduction (SCCPIR) Research Grant Review Meeting, November 7-9, 2012.

Regular invited member of NIH study section Reproduction, Andrology, and Gynecology (RAG study section- NICHD/NIH), 2013- 2017.

Editor responsibilities for FY13 include: 

  • Associate Editor for the journal of Molecular Reproduction and Development
  • Reviewing Editor for Biology of Reproduction, Development & Reproduction, Asian Pacific Journal of Reproduction, and Journal of Reproductive Biology and Health
  • Reviewed a total of 15 manuscripts for publication in the following journals: Biology of Reproduction, Endocrinology, Human Reproduction, Molecular Human Reproduction, Molecular Reproduction and Development, PlosOne, Reproduction.

Takiko Daikoku, PhD

Invited lecture. "Identify an important gene/protein and its functions during pregnancy." Kato Ladies Clinic. February 19, 2013, Japan.

Invited lecture. "Identify an important gene/protein and its functions during pregnancy." Ritsumeikan University. February 18, 2013, Japan.

Invited lecture. "Msx1’s function in the uterus during pregnancy." Department of Developmental Genetics, Wakayama Medical University. February 14, 2013, Japan.

Satoshi Namekawa, PhD

Selected talk. "Dual function of BRCA1 on synapsed and unsynapsed chromosomes in meiosis." Midwest DNA Repair Symposium. May 18, 2013, Lexington, KY.

Invited talk. "DNA Damage Response Pathways and Epigenetic Programming: Regulation of the Sex Chromosomes in Germ Cells." Department of Cancer Biology, University of Cincinnati, March 7, 2013, Cincinnati, OH.

Invited lecture. "Starting the Namekawa lab since 2009: Epigenetics in reproduction.” Mie University Graduate of School of Medicine. November 15, 2012, Mie, Japan.

Invited talk. “Journey of the sex chromosomes through reproduction and evolution.” Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Cincinnati. October 9, 2012, Cincinnati, OH.

Selected talk. “Chromosome-wide gene activation from inactive sex chromosomes.” Germ Cells Meeting. October 2 - 6, 2012, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY.

Invited talk. "Journey of the sex chromosomes through reproduction and evolution.” NIDDK/NIH. July 30, 2012, Bethesda, MD.

Tony DeFalco, PhD

Platform Presentation. "Testicular macrophages are required for proliferation and differentiation of spermatogonial precursors." Germ Cells Meeting. October 2-6, 2012, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY.

Platform Presentation. "Macrophages and the control of spermatogonial differentiation." 45th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Reproduction. August 12-16, 2012, State College, PA.

New Hires

August - Fenghua Bian, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in Sanjoy Das’ lab

August – Yingju Li, MD, Graduate Assistant in SK Dey’s lab

August – Alyna Williams, BS, Research Assistant II in Tony DeFalco’s lab

September – Craig Park, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in SK Dey’s lab

November – Jumpei Terakawa, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in SK Dey’s lab

December – Wes Troja, BS, Research Assistant II in Helen Jones’s lab

February – Indrashis Bhattacharya, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in Tony DeFalco’s lab

March - Yasuko Kato, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in Satoshi Namekawa’s lab

May – Lena Carlson, SURF Student in Tony DeFalco’s lab

May - Megan Shroder, SURF Student in Satoshi Namekawa's lab

May - Kathryn Owens, SURF Student in Helen Jones's lab


Amanda Bartos to Research Assistant III

Kris Alavattam to Research Assistant II

Hosu Sin to Research Associate

Xiaofei Sun to Research Associate

Division Publications

Reproductive Sciences Publications

  1. Burnum KE, Hirota Y, Baker ES, Yoshie M, Ibrahim YM, Monroe ME, Anderson GA, Smith RD, Daikoku T, Dey SK. Uterine deletion of Trp53 compromises antioxidant responses in the mouse decidua. Endocrinology. 2012; 153:4568-79.
  2. Cha J, Sun X, Bartos A, Fenelon J, Lefèvre P, Daikoku T, Shaw G, Maxson R, Murphy BD, Renfree MB, Dey SK. A new role for muscle segment homeobox genes in mammalian embryonic diapause. Open Biol. 2013; 3:130035.
  3. Cha J, Sun X, Dey SK. Mechanisms of implantation: strategies for successful pregnancy. Nat Med. 2012; 18:1754-67.
  4. Cool J, Defalco T, Capel B. Testis formation in the fetal mouse: dynamic and complex de novo tubulogenesis. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Dev Biol. 2012; 1:847-59.
  5. Das SK. Contribution of maternal NODAL to term pregnancy. Biol Reprod. 2012; 86:193.
  6. Defalco T, Saraswathula A, Briot A, Iruela-Arispe ML, Capel B. Testosterone levels influence mouse fetal leydig cell progenitors through notch signaling. Biol Reprod. 2013; 88:91.
  7. Gao F, Ma X, Rusie A, Hemingway J, Ostmann AB, Chung D, Das SK. Epigenetic changes through DNA methylation contribute to uterine stromal cell decidualization. Endocrinology. 2012; 153:6078-90.
  8. Garcia TX, DeFalco T, Capel B, Hofmann MC. Constitutive activation of NOTCH1 signaling in Sertoli cells causes gonocyte exit from quiescence. Dev Biol. 2013; 377:188-201.
  9. Ichijima Y, Sin HS, Namekawa SH. Sex chromosome inactivation in germ cells: emerging roles of DNA damage response pathways. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2012; 69:2559-72.
  10. Kurosawa Y, Degrauw TJ, Lindquist DM, Blanco VM, Pyne-Geithman GJ, Daikoku T, Chambers JB, Benoit SC, Clark JF. Cyclocreatine treatment improves cognition in mice with creatine transporter deficiency. J Clin Invest. 2012; 122:2837-46.
  11. Matsumoto H, Fukui E, Yoshizawa M, Sato E, Daikoku T. Differential expression of the motin family in the peri-implantation mouse uterus and their hormonal regulation. J Reprod Dev. 2012; 58:649-53.
  12. Sato A, Yamada N, Ogawa Y, Ikegami M. CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-alpha suppresses lung tumor development in mice through the p38alpha MAP kinase pathway. PLoS One. 2013; 8:e57013.
  13. Sin HS, Barski A, Zhang F, Kartashov AV, Nussenzweig A, Chen J, Andreassen PR, Namekawa SH. RNF8 regulates active epigenetic modifications and escape gene activation from inactive sex chromosomes in post-meiotic spermatids. Genes Dev. 2012; 26:2737-48.
  14. Sroga JM, Gao F, Ma X, Das SK. Overexpression of cyclin D3 improves decidualization defects in Hoxa-10(-/-) mice. Endocrinology. 2012; 153:5575-86.
  15. Suzuki K, Yokoyama C, Higashi Y, Daikoku T, Mizoguchi S, Saika S, Yamada G. Wakayama symposium: epithelial-mesenchymal interaction regulates tissue formation and characteristics: insights for corneal development. Ocul Surf. 2012; 10:217-20.
  16. Wu Q, Song R, Ortogero N, Zheng H, Evanoff R, Small CL, Griswold MD, Namekawa SH, Royo H, Turner JM, Yan W. The RNase III enzyme DROSHA is essential for microRNA production and spermatogenesis. J Biol Chem. 2012; 287:25173-90.
  17. Xie H, Sun X, Piao Y, Jegga AG, Handwerger S, Ko MS, Dey SK. Silencing or amplification of endocannabinoid signaling in blastocysts via CB1 compromises trophoblast cell migration. J Biol Chem. 2012; 287:32288-97.

Faculty, Staff, and Trainees

Faculty Members

Sudhansu K. Dey, PhD, Professor
Leadership Division Director; Lova Riekert Chair
Research Interests Pregnancy and implantation; reproductive cancers; endocannabinoids
Takiko Daikoku, PhD, Associate Professor
Research Interests Reproductive cancers; blastocyst implantation
Sanjoy Das, PhD, Professor
Research Interests Uterine decidualization; environmental estrogens
Tony DeFalco, PhD, Assistant Professor
Research Interests Genetic and molecular mechanisms of sexual development disorders
Yasushi Hirota, MD, PhD, Adjunct
Research Interests Human reproduction; endometrial biology; implantation (Home Institution: National Institute of Genetics of Japan)
Hyunjung "Jade" Lim, PhD, Adjunct
Research Interests Embryo Implantation (Home Institution: Konkuk University, Korea)
Satoshi Namekawa, PhD, Assistant Professor
Research Interests Epigenetics of germ cells; X chromosome inactivation
Yuya Ogawa, PhD, Assistant Professor
Research Interests Molecular mechanisms of X chromosome inactivation

Joint Appointment Faculty Members

Helen Jones, PhD, Assistant Professor (Pediatric Surgery)
Research Interests Regulation of placental growth and function; fetal growth restriction


  • Fenghua Bian, PhD, State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology/ Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
  • Indrashis Bhattacharya, PhD, National Institute of Immunology, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
  • Jeeyeon Cha, BS, University of Cincinnati Medical School
  • Daesuk Chung, PhD, University of Colorado
  • Fei Gao, PhD, Vanderbilt University
  • Kazuteru Hasegawa, PhD, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, Japan
  • Yosuke Ichijima, PhD, Harvard University
  • Yasuko Kato, PhD, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Japan
  • Yingju Li, MD, Nanhua University, China
  • Craig Park, PhD, McGill University, Canada
  • Ho-Su Sin, PhD, Kanazawa University, Japan
  • Xiaofei Sun, PhD, Vanderbilt University
  • Jumpei Terakawa, PhD, Yamaguchi University, Japan
  • Macarena Vargas Vargas, PhD, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
  • Norishige Yamada, PhD, Kagoshima University, Japan

Division Collaboration

Division of Biomedical Informatics » Anil Jegga

Title: Bioinformatics Approach to Preimplantation Embryo Development with Respect to Endocannabinoid Signaling

Collaboration with: SK Dey

Division of Developmental Biology » Steve Potter

Title: Hox Genes in Female Reproduction

Collaboration with: SK Dey

Division of Endocrinology » Stuart Handwerger

Title: Role of Endocannabinoid in Uterine Decidualization

Collaboration with: SK Dey

Division of Molecular Immunology » Senad Divanovic

Title: Role of Endocannabinoid in Preterm Birth

Collaboration with: SK Dey

Division of Biomedical Informatics » Anil Jegga

Title: Molecular analysis of uterine epithelia-stromal cross-talk in a co-culture system

Collaboration with: Sanjoy Das

Division of Endocrinology » Stuart Handwerger

Title: i) Epigenetic regulation of uterine receptivity for embryo implantation, and ii) Analysis of molecular signaling axis for Hoxa-10 and H19 during uterine decidualization in human

Collaboration with: Sanjoy Das

Division of Pulmonary Biology » Vladimir Kalinichenko

Title: Functional role of FoxM1 in estrogen signaling and during the early pregnancy

Collaboration with: Sanjoy Das

Division of Allergy and Immunology » Artem Barski

Title: Epigenomic landscape of the sex chromosomes in germ cells

Collaboration with: Satoshi Namekawa

Division of Experimental Hematology & Cancer Biology » Paul R. Andreassen

Title: Title: DNA damage response pathways in epigenetic programming

Collaboration with: Satoshi Namekawa

Division of Pulmonary Biology » Machiko Ikegami

Title: DNA methylation analysis of lung cancer suppressor genes

Collaboration with: Yuya Ogawa

Grants, Contracts, and Industry Agreements

Reproductive Sciences Grants

Grant and Contract AwardsAnnual Direct

Cha, J

Premature Uterine Aging and Preterm Delivery
F30 AG 04085809/16/11-09/15/15$47,232

Dey, S

Molecular Signaling in Uterine Receptivity to Implantation
R01 HD 06852409/26/11-06/30/16$212,500
PTEN-COX2-mTOR Signaling in Endometrial Cancer
P01 CA 07783906/01/12-05/31/17$185,423

Namekawa, S

DNA Damage Response Pathways in Meieotic Sex Chromosome Inactivation
R01 GM 09860508/01/11-07/31/16$185,600


Organization of the Inactive X-Chromosome

Sun, H

Controlling Mechanism of Sex-Linked Genes Required for Sperm Function
Current Year Direct$847,088