Combined Research in Rheinbach and Harvard

Monday 2 November 2009

Prof. Edda Tobiasch and the student Maik Nierstenhöfer (study course Master in Biomedical Sciences) achieved together with a scientific research group at Harvard Medical School accredited scientific success.

Since a couple of years, there is a scientific cooperation between the research group of Prof. Dr. Edda Tobiasch and Prof. Dr. Anny Usheva-Simidjiyska, Direktor of "Basic Science Research" in Harvard. Several master students have already performed the laboratory part of their theses in Boston, which has been acknowledged by scholar ships for the students from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and by an award granted from McNeil in the past.

That oocyte- even human ones - can mature, is due to signaling molecules which are necessary for the process of ovulation before fertilisation. Until now the steroidogenic pathway was thought to be the main player in this process. Another signalling pathway, until now only known from the hepatobiliary systems and not previously identified in the human ovary, has been identified to exist in the human ovarian follicle. The identification of an alternative synthetic pathway in the ovarian follicle which may compete with the use of cholesterol in the steroidogenic pathway and participate in a balance affecting sex steroid synthesis changes the currently accepted notion of cholesterol trafficking. It should be considered particularly in the context of assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization.

The scientific success was now published in PLoS (Public Library of Science,) a highly ranked journal in Biology and Medicine (IF13,5).