Our Team discovers genes involved in the development of cells, tissues and organs in the embryo, and study their activity, regulation, function and interaction, using mice as an experimental model. Much of our work centres on the genetic pathways that regulate sex determination and gonadal development. Researchers use a number of gene discovery strategies to identify novel candidate genes, analyse expression of these genes during gonadal development to identify the cell type and temporal profile of expression, perform in vitro experiments to determine the molecular mechanisms of the encoded proteins and where they act in the sex-determining pathway, and perform functional analysis in vivo by overexpression in transgenic mice and/or CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing in mice. This work is applied to understanding, diagnosing and managing the molecular defects that can result in atypical sex development in humans, sometimes called intersex or disorders of sex development.

Traineeships, honours and PhD projects include

  • Identification and functional study of sex-determining genes
  • Disorders of sex development.

Project members

Group Leader

Professor Peter Koopman

Group Leader, Genomics of Development and Disease Division
Professorial Research Fellow
Institute for Molecular Bioscience