This lab, led by Professor Mitchell, spans the broad areas both human and bovine fertility, pregnancy, pregnancy complications, metabolic dysfunctions in pregnancy and labour. 

The research is focused on pregnancy and labour with emphasis on the roles of inflammatory mediators (molecules that play a role in inflammation). 

More recently, the lab has been investigating the role of extracellular vesicles such as exosomes in fertility, metabolic dysfunction in pregnancy and preterm birth. The lab also evaluates the factors that control the transport of nutrients, hormones, drugs and environmental agents through the placenta. 

The lab's research aims to study the causes of preterm birth to determine any potential effects on early development for the child, vulnerability to disease and adulthood and the impacts this has on subsequent generations. 

The goal of the lab is to determine the molecular mechanisms leading to the development of pregnancy complications and to develop diagnostic tests for early detection of pregnancy abnormalities.

The lab's interests are based broadly on the biochemical mechanisms of growth and differentiation of tissues at the molecular, cellular, organ and whole animal level. Attention is focused on the development of fetal tissues and uterine tissues that play a part in the mechanism(s) of parturition. 

Research projects available

  • Characterisation of inflammatory pathways associated with preterm birth.
  • Early diagnosis of pregnancy complications using placental exosomes.
  • Role of placental exosomes in intercellular communication 
  • Prostaglandins, prostamides, and endocannabinoids as biomarkers for preterm birth.
  • How do prostaglandins, prostamides, and endocannabinoids induce an inflammatory response in the placenta?
  • Exosomes and diagnostics of fertility 
  • Exosomes and diagnostics of transition cow