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UConn Health Department of Cell Biology

Mehlmann LAB

Current Members

Laura D'AngeloLaura D'Angelo

Graduate Student
Phone: 860-679-4196 

I am a graduate student studying the acquisition of meiotic competence in oocytes. When mammalian oocytes develop during fetal life they rapidly enter meiosis and become arrested at prophase 1. Over time the oocyte begins to grow as it produces and stores macromolecules needed for the fully grown oocyte, however continually being maintained in prophase 1 arrest. It has been discovered that the G protein-coupled receptor, GPR3, initiates a signaling cascade to generate high levels of cAMP to keep the fully grown and competent oocyte at the prophase 1 arrest. Once the competent oocyte encounters luteinizing hormone, it then has acquired the ability to overcome the prophase 1 arrest, resumes meiosis, and prepares to be fertilized by sperm. Prior to being fully grown, the growing oocyte is considered to be meiotically incompetent, or simply unable to overcome meiotic arrest even in the optimal conditions. It is incompletely understood what signals to the oocyte to acquire meiotic competence during oocyte growth. The goal of my research is to understand how GPR3 has a role in the growing oocytes to acquire meiotic competence.

Poster About Current Research:

D’Angelo, L.D., Uliasz, T.F., and Mehlmann, L.M. The Role of GPR3 in the Acquisition of Oocyte Meiotic Competence; Society for the Study of Reproduction; 2015 June 18-21; San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Tracy UliaszTracy Uliasz

Research Assistant II
Phone: 860-679-3476

I am a research assistant II in the Department of Cell Biology working jointly in the labs of Dr. Laurinda Jaffe and Dr. Lisa Mehlmann. Both labs are interested in the signaling pathways that regulate meiotic cell cycling.  In the Mehlmann lab, the work I am involved in is focused on how the signaling pathway of the constitutively active GPR3 receptor regulates cAMP levels which is also involved in the maintenance of meiotic arrest.. In the Jaffe lab, I have been involved in the study of the regulation and activity of guanylyl cyclase (NPR2) and its ligand CNP, which function to maintain high levels of cGMP in the ovarian follicle and meiotic arrest of the oocyte. We are investigating how luteinizing hormone regulates this system to cause meiosis to resume.

Past Lab Members
  • Katie Lowther (PhD, 2007-2013), Division of Reproductive Sciences, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
  • Dana Murray (Research Assistant, 2014), School of Medicine, West Virginia University, WV
  • Andrea DiLuigi (MD, Reproductive Endocrinology Fellow) Center for Advanced Reproductive Services, UConn Health, Farmington, CT
  • Venessa Weitzman (MD, Reproductive Endocrinology Fellow),IVF Florida Reproductive Associates, FL
  • Jessica Mann (MD, Reproductive Endocrinology Fellow) Reproductive Science Center, NJ

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