The research interests of our lab can be summarized in three main pillars: I) Oogenesis and folliculogenesis, II) Oocyte-to-embryo transition, and III) Cryobiology.

Since the early 2000s, the study of the last stages of oogenesis and differentiation of the fully grown oocyte, together with the transition from growing to the fully grown stage, has been at the core of ReDBioLab research and led to the morphological, functional, and molecular definition of essential features that, at present, define a competent fully grown oocyte, mainly in the bovine species. These studies led to the development of pre-IVM protocols that improved the embryo yield, serving as prototypes for other mammals comprising humans. More recently, the focus has been expanded to earlier stages of oocyte and follicle development, where the overall elucidation of basic molecular mechanisms of survival, activation, and growth is still ‘primordial’. These studies could also help define mechanisms of ovarian aging and premature ovarian aging, potentially finding strategies for its prevention or control.

To fulfill its destiny and become an embryo, the fully grown and differentiated oocyte must undergo a series of changes that allow the faithful interaction with the male gamete and a complete erasure of the maternal and paternal differentiation program to implant the embryos. This complex yet extremely fast reprogramming is defined as oocyte-to-embryo transition, and it is stunningly orchestrated at a post-transcriptional level for several days. At ReDBioLab, we conduct research to shed light on some pathways and molecular players regulating such transition and to understand how the maternal and cultural environment can affect development.

Finally, assisted reproductive technologies and fertility preservation programs can only exist in the development of cryopreservation. In this sense, cryopreservation techniques are essential to bring the lab to the field and vice versa. Hence, the need to improve the existing protocols for gonadal tissue, gametes, and embryo cryopreservation goes along with a deeper understanding of cryobiology principles.

Often, a clear-cut between the different research lines cannot be drawn, with some topics and experimental models naturally expanding one into the other, creating a multidisciplinary crosstalk. Overall, the advance in knowledge gained with our studies found applications for fertility preservation and improvement of assisted reproductive technologies that can be applied to biodiversity maintenance, livestock breeding, and infertility treatment.

Ongoing Projects

HORIZON-MSCA-2023-DN-01-01 – Action: HORIZON-TMA-MSCA-DN – “Innovative approaches to implantation research in health and disease” (IMPLANTEU) n. 101169308 (2024-2028)

Scientific Coordinator: Alberto Maria LucianoResearch Team: Valentina Lodde, Federica Franciosi ****** Consortium Clinica EUGIN, Barcelona, Spain (Coordinator)Medical University of Graz, Austria (Partner)Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium (Partner)BiomimX Srl Italy (Partner)Universiteit Gent, Belgium (Partner)Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands (Partner)Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy (Partner)Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, Spain (Partner)University College of Dublin, Ireland (Partner)Universitaets Klinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany (Partner)Institut Fuer Molekulare Biotechnologie GmbH, Austria (Associated)CEVA Sante Animale SA, France (Associated)SustainLABility, Germany (Associated)Politecnico di Milano, Italy (Associated)Dawn-Bio GmbH, Austria (Associated) Summary Implantation of the embryo in a receptive uterus is critical for mammalian reproduction yet remains poorly understood. This challenge is particularly significant in human health, as up to two-thirds of human pregnancies are lost due to implantation failure. In the agricultural sector, particularly in sustainable milk and meat production, understanding and improving embryo implantation is equally crucial. High peri-implantation mortality rates in livestock lead to lower efficiency, profitability, and environmental sustainability. Much remains unknown about the molecular pathways and regulatory mechanisms of embryo-endometrial interactions in humans and livestock species. For ethical and practical reasons, implantation cannot be adequately studied in vivo in humans, and it remains challenging in most animal models.IMPLANTEU is an international community of researchers whose objectives are:1) To develop a molecular blueprint of human implantation in health and disease;2) To improve implantation fitness for food production mammals and3) To develop an advanced toolkit for implantation research.IMPLANTEU provides multi-species, multi-sector, and multi-model molecular and system implantation research, integrating complementary expertise in reproductive and stem cell biology, medicine, physiology, ethics, and law, and cutting-edge technologies such as stem cell-based embryo models, organoids, machine learning, and organ-on-chip.IMPLANTEU will train 13 doctoral candidates through research, innovation, secondments in academic and industrial environments, horizontal and focused courses, and interactions with stakeholders. The findings generated through IMPLANTEU will contribute to the profound understanding of the embryonic and endometrial contribution to reproductive success, innovations in infertility treatment, animal production efficiency and sustainability, tissue bioengineering, pathogen-host interaction, reproductive toxicology, and stem cell biology.

Read More »

“The Cumulus Oophorus extracellular MATRIX as a marker of follicular development, oocyte maturation, and embryo quality in human assisted reproduction” (CO-MATRIX) – European Union Next-Generation EUROPE – PIANO NAZIONALE DI RIPRESA E RESILIENZA (PNRR) Missione 4 – Component 2,  Italian Ministry of University and Research MUR, PRIN2022, No. 20227EB74M (2023-2026)

Scientific Coordinators: Antonio Inforzato (PI, Humanitas University); UniMI Coordinator: Alberto Maria Luciano (Co-PI, University of Milan). Research Team: Valentina Lodde, Federica Franciosi, Gaia Cecilia Luvoni, Magdalena Ladron De Guevara Go to the web site

Read More »

Agritech Spoke 5 – Sustainable productivity and mitigation of environmental impact in livestock system- Task 5.3.2: Testing of less emitting animals (2022-2025)

UNIMI: Development of a coordinated service for the identification, conservation, utilization, and management of the most suitable genotypes to achieve the rapid evolution of the national herd towards reduced emissions in dairy cattle  Agritech National Research Center funded from the European Union Next-GenerationEU (PIANO NAZIONALE DI RIPRESA E RESILIENZA (PNRR) – MISSIONE 4 COMPONENTE 2, INVESTIMENTO 1.4 – D.D. 1032 17/06/2022, CN00000022). Task 5.3.2 PIs: Fulvio Gandolfi, Alberto Maria LucianoResearch team: Tiziana Brevini, Martina Colombo, Federica Franciosi, Valentina Lodde, Cecilia Luvoni, Georgia Pennarossa, Rolando Pasquariello, Francesca Di Filippo Go to the Agritech Web Site

Read More »

Regione Lombardia PSR project: Approcci integrati in situ ed ex situ per la tutela della biodiversità della razza bovina Varzese: Fase 2 del Progetto INNOVA – Progetto R-INNOVA – FEASR – Programma di Sviluppo Rurale 2014-2020 -MISURA 10 – “Pagamenti agro climatico ambientali” SOTTOMISURA 10.2 – “Sostegno per la conservazione, l’uso e lo sviluppo sostenibili delle risorse genetiche in agricoltura” OPERAZIONE 10.2.01 – “Conservazione della biodiversità animale e vegetale” – No. 202102146691 (2022-2024)

Scientific coordinator: Alberto Maria Luciano Research team: Valentina Lodde, Federica Franciosi, Gaia Cecilia Luvoni, Martina Colombo, Pritha Dey Go to the Website

Read More »

New perspectives for the exploitation of female reproductive potential in mammals: from the recovery of the untapped natural ovarian reserve to the generation of oocytes and granulosa cells from mesenchymal stem cells (InfinitEGG) – Italian Ministry of University and Research (MUR), PRIN2020, No. 20209L8BN4 (2022-2025)

Scientific coordinator: Alberto Maria Luciano
Research team: Alberto Maria Luciano, Federica Franciosi, Valentina Lodde, Fernanda Fagali Franchi and Noemi Monferini

Read More »
No more posts to show

Closed Projects

FOLLICULAR SYSTEM – Join Project UNESP-UNIMI (2016-2021)

Investigators: Jose Buratini Jr, Ana Caroline S. Soares, Valentina Lodde and Alberto M. LucianoInternational patent number PCT/BR2016/000019 (WO 2017/143412 A1).Project: aims to provide to the oocyte a more physiological environment for its development in order to fully acquire meiotic and developmental competence, which are both related to the oocyte’s capability to complete meiotic division, to be fertilized and to develop into a viable embryo.

Read More »

2016-2017 Co-operative Research programme: Biological Resources Management for Sustainable Agricultural systems – Fellowship award

Programme 2016 – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (Contract number: JA00091594)Project: Focus on zinc function in oocyte development to improve reproductive performance in dairy cattle (Zinc-oo)Principal Investigator: Valentina Lodde 2016-2018: Piano Sviluppo Ricerca 2016 Linea 2 Azione BProject title: Role of PGRMC1 in Canine Mammary TumorScientific coordinators: Alberto M. Luciano – Valentina Lodde

Read More »
No more posts to show