Madeline Dawson headshot
Research is a great way to broaden your skills and knowledge. It is also a great way to explore a field you think you would like to be a part of in the future.

Genomics and Molecular Genetics

Research Topic: Effects of Modulating Muscle Contractions on Embryo Movement in Early Mouse Pregnancy Graduation Year: 2022

Dawson investigated the role of uterine muscle contractions in moving embryos throughout the uterus to proper implantation sites. Image analysis techniques were used to quantify uterine horn muscle contractions by recording 2D videos, and graphs were then created to determine the intensity and magnitude of contractions. “Contraction intensity” was quantified and compared between uterine horns at different times during pregnancy with and without muscle relaxing drug treatment. Dawson's group concluded that the velocity of uterine contractions differs between non-pregnant, unidirectional and bidirectional embryo movement, and uterine contractions disappear with muscle relaxer treatment. Understanding how muscle relaxation affects pregnancy will inform the potential for muscle relaxing drugs to regulate contractions that lead to spontaneous abortions and miscarriage in pregnant women.