a. Objective Introduction Over the last ten years, emerging science disciplines, such as stem cells, epigenetics, nanotechnology and biotechnology, have not only revolutionized biology and other STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) disciplines but also have created new industries and a whole new range of career opportunities. Unfortunately, school curricula have not kept up with these rapid changes in science, and most students in the United States are not well prepared or knowledgeable about the sophisticated emerging science that will become increasingly important in the next 10-15 years. Teachers are bound by time, limited resources, and testing requirements to teach the science that is specified in the biology curriculum. Unfortunately, most teachers are not equipped or able to fit emerging science into their hour-long science class. It is because of these challenges that community engagement will be a central component to this project and we will primarily focus on reaching Philadelphia high school teachers and students, undergraduate, graduate, and medical school students, and faculty from PennCSER. Using an established and successful outreach program called Project BioEYES (described below) as the foundation of our work, we will (1) launch science caf6s to inform public school teachers and the university community on the advances and challenges of current research in epigenetics and reproduction, (2) develop a high school curriculum focused on reproduction as well as the epigenetic and environmental influences on reproduction with the input of local teachers, (3) offer a research summer internship to high school students, and (4) co-host an annual science celebration to share with the community the latest developments in the research and educational outreach programs. Notably, as the reproduction and epigenetics curriculum is developed, we will incorporate aspects of the highly regarded Northwestern SCCPIR Outreach program, as they have developed learning modules on basic reproductive physiology and ovarian function (see letter of collaboration from Teresa Woodruff and Megan Faurot).

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1-DSR-L)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Pennsylvania
United States
Zip Code
Mainigi, Monica A; Olalere, Devvora; Burd, Irina et al. (2014) Peri-implantation hormonal milieu: elucidating mechanisms of abnormal placentation and fetal growth. Biol Reprod 90:26
Ihara, Motomasa; Meyer-Ficca, Mirella L; Leu, N Adrian et al. (2014) Paternal poly (ADP-ribose) metabolism modulates retention of inheritable sperm histones and early embryonic gene expression. PLoS Genet 10:e1004317
Butts, Samantha F; Owen, Carter; Mainigi, Monica et al. (2014) Assisted hatching and intracytoplasmic sperm injection are not associated with improved outcomes in assisted reproduction cycles for diminished ovarian reserve: an analysis of cycles in the United States from 2004 to 2011. Fertil Steril 102:1041-1047.e1
Butts, Samantha F; Guo, Wensheng; Cary, Mark S et al. (2013) Predicting the decline in human chorionic gonadotropin in a resolving pregnancy of unknown location. Obstet Gynecol 122:337-43
Bryant, Jessica M; Meyer-Ficca, Mirella L; Dang, Vanessa M et al. (2013) Separation of spermatogenic cell types using STA-PUT velocity sedimentation. J Vis Exp :
Meyer-Ficca, Mirella L; Lonchar, Julia D; Ihara, Motomasa et al. (2013) Alteration of poly(ADP-ribose) metabolism affects murine sperm nuclear architecture by impairing pericentric heterochromatin condensation. Chromosoma 122:319-35
de Waal, Eric; Yamazaki, Yukiko; Ingale, Puraskar et al. (2012) Primary epimutations introduced during intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) are corrected by germline-specific epigenetic reprogramming. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109:4163-8
Abramowitz, Lara K; Bartolomei, Marisa S (2012) Genomic imprinting: recognition and marking of imprinted loci. Curr Opin Genet Dev 22:72-8