As Professor of Reproductive Biology with an Honorary Consultant Clinical Scientist post with Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, I lead a team of clinical and research scientists working side by side in a programme of basic, translational and clinical science.
The close integration of clinical and research scientists is a cornerstone of the research programme in my lab. We aim to advance knowledge in the biology of germ cells and early embryos with a view to (i) improving the treatment and understanding of infertility (ii) extending the scope of reproductive technologies to prevent transmission of disease.
The fertilised zygote inherits its nuclear DNA from the male and female gametes – the oocyte and the sperm, which become haploid during a specialised form of cell division known as meiosis. By contrast, mitochondrial DNA is inherited only from the oocyte, which contains some hundreds of thousands of copies. Our research encompasses the inheritance of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA.
Recent Key publications
Pyle A, Hudson G, Wilson IJ, Coxhead J, Smertenko T, Herbert M, Santibanez-Koref M, Chinnery PF. Extreme-depth re-sequencing finds no evidence of paternal transmission in humans. PLoS Genet. 2015;11:e1005040
Gorman GS*, Grady JP*, Ng Y, Schaefer AM, McNally RJ, Chinnery PF, Yu Wai Man P, Herbert M, Taylor RW, McFarland RM, Turnbull DM. Mitochondrial Donation: How many women could benefit. N. Engl. J. Med. 2015;372:885-887.
Greggains GD, Lister LM, Tuppen HA, Zhang Q, Needham LH, Prathalingam N, Hyslop LA, Craven L, Polanski Z, Murdoch AP, Turnbull DM, Herbert M. Therapeutic potential of somatic cell nuclear transfer for degenerative disease caused by mitochondrial DNA mutations. Sci. Report. 2014;24:3844.
Touati SA, Cladière D, Lister LM, Leontiou I, Chambon JP, Rattani A, Böttger F, Stemmann O, Nasmyth K, Herbert M, Wassmann K. Cyclin A2 Is Required for Sister Chromatid Segregation, But Not Separase Control, in Mouse Oocyte Meiosis. Cell Reports 2012;2:1077-1087.
Prathalingam N. Ferguson L, Young, L, Lietz G, Oldershaw R, Healey L, Craig A, Binaykia R, Seth R, Lister H, Murdoch A, Herbert M. Production and validation of a GMP grade human fibroblast line for supporting human embryonic stem cell derivation and culture. Stem Cell Res. Ther. 2012;3:12.
Lister LM, Kouznetsova A, Hyslop LA, Kalleas D, Pace SL, Barel JC, Nathan A, Floros V, Adelfalk C, Watanabe Y, Jessberger R, Kirkwood TB, Hoog C, Herbert M. Age-related meiotic segregation errors in mammalian oocytes are preceded by depletion of cohesin and Sgo2. Current Biol. 2010;20:1511-1521.
Craven L, Tuppen HA, Greggains GD, Harbottle SJ, Murphy JL, Cree LM, Murdoch AP, Chinnery PF, Taylor RW, Lightowlers RN, Herbert M*, Turnbull DM*. Pronuclear transfer in human embryos to prevent transmission of mitochondrial DNA disease. Nature 2010;465:82-85. (* joint corresponding authors)
2016. Research into Policy: A Brief History of Mitochondrial Donation.  Stem Cells 34(2):265-7,
2015. Mitochondrial donation--how many women could benefit?  N Engl J Med 372(9):885-7,
2015. Concise reviews: Assisted reproductive technologies to prevent transmission of mitochondrial DNA disease.  Stem Cells 33(3):639-45,
2015. Meiosis and maternal aging: insights from aneuploid oocytes and trisomy births.  Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 7(4):a017970,
2015. Extreme-Depth Re-sequencing of Mitochondrial DNA Finds No Evidence of Paternal Transmission in Humans.  PLoS Genet 11(5):e1005040,
2015. Barriers and facilitators towards fertility preservation care for cancer patients: a meta-synthesis.  Eur J Cancer Care (Engl).,
2015. Mitochondrial replacement to prevent the transmission of mitochondrial DNA disease.  EMBO Rep 16(5):539-40,
2014. The challenges of mitochondrial replacement.  PLoS Genet 10(4):e1004315,
2012. A novel isolator-based system promotes viability of human embryos during laboratory processing.  PLoS One 7(2):e31010,
2012. Production and validation of a good manufacturing practice grade human fibroblast line for supporting human embryonic stem cell derivation and culture.  Stem Cell Res Ther 3(2):12,
2011. Mitochondrial DNA disease: new options for prevention.  Hum Mol Genet 20(R2):R168-74,
2010. Pronuclear transfer in human embryos to prevent transmission of mitochondrial DNA disease.  Nature 465(7294):82-5,
2010. Age-related meiotic segregation errors in mammalian oocytes are preceded by depletion of cohesin and Sgo2.  Curr Biol 20(17):1511-21,
2009. RETRACTION - In Vitro Derivation of Human Sperm from Embryonic Stem Cells.  Stem Cells Dev.,
2007. Developmental competence of human in vitro aged oocytes as host cells for nuclear transfer.  Hum Reprod 22(1):52-62,
2007. Estimating the risks of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS): implications for egg donation for research.  Hum Fertil (Camb) 10(3):183-7,
2006. Transmission of mitochondrial DNA disorders: possibilities for the future.  Lancet 368(9529):87-9,
2006. Can 'abnormally' fertilized zygotes give rise to viable embryos?  Hum Fertil (Camb) 9(3):157-69,
2005. Mad2 prevents aneuploidy and premature proteolysis of cyclin B and securin during meiosis I in mouse oocytes.  Genes Dev 19(2):202-7,
2005. Mad2 is required for inhibiting securin and cyclin B degradation following spindle depolymerisation in meiosis I mouse oocytes.  Reproduction 130(6):829-43,
2005. Restaging the spindle assembly checkpoint in female mammalian meiosis I.  Cell Cycle 4(5):650-3,
2005. RNA interference in meiosis I human oocytes: towards an understanding of human aneuploidy.  Mol Hum Reprod 11(6):397-404,
2005. Derivation of a human blastocyst after heterologous nuclear transfer to donated oocytes.  Reprod Biomed Online 11(2):226-31,
2005. Downregulation of NANOG induces differentiation of human embryonic stem cells to extraembryonic lineages.  Stem Cells 23(8):1035-43,
2004. Derivation of human embryonic stem cells from day-8 blastocysts recovered after three-step in vitro culture.  Stem Cells 22(5):790-7,
2004. Demographic, medical and treatment characteristics associated with couples' decisions to donate fresh spare embryos for research.  Hum Reprod 19(9):2091-6,
2004. Maintenance of sister chromatid attachment in mouse eggs through maturation-promoting factor activity.  Dev Biol 275(1):68-81,
2003. Homologue disjunction in mouse oocytes requires proteolysis of securin and cyclin B1.  Nat Cell Biol 5(11):1023-5,
2002. Time from insemination to first cleavage predicts developmental competence of human preimplantation embryos in vitro.  Hum Reprod 17(2):407-12,
2002. Cytogenetic analysis of human blastocysts.  Prenat Diagn 22(12):1143-52,
2000. Embryonic development in vitro is compromised by the ICSI procedure.  Hum Reprod 15(7):1592-6,
1999. Severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome following salvage of empty follicle syndrome.  Hum Reprod 14(7):1707-9,
1997. Detection of mosaic and non-mosaic chromosome abnormalities in 6- to 8-day old human blastocysts.  Hum Genet 101(1):30-6,
1995. Mitotic activity during preimplantation development of human embryos.  J Reprod Fertil 103(2):209-14,
1995. The thiol reagent, thimerosal induces intracellular calcium oscillations in mature human oocytes.  Hum Reprod 10(8):2183-6,