Lowe, Matthew

Matthew is in the Cell and Developmental Biology home area of the MBIDP.  He received a B.S. in Genetics and Cell Development from the University of Minnesota, and after coming to UCLA, joined the lab of Dr. Amander Clark.  He joined the CMB training program in 2018. 

Mentor: Dr. Amander Clark

Research project:

Primordial Germ Cells (PGCs) are the embryonic progenitors of the adult germ line.  PGCs are initially specified from the epiblast in both mouse and human embryos and following specification, migrate into the genital ridges before becoming enclosed in what will ultimately become the testes or ovaries of the animal.  Once in the genital ridges, the PGCs rapidly proliferate before undergoing mitotic arrest in the testes or entry into meiosis in the ovaries.  Throughout maturation, PGCs undergo extensive epigenetic remodeling, including drastic loss of DNA methylation across the genome and global redistribution of the repressive histone modification, Histone 3 Lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3).  The purpose of PGC epigenetic remodeling and the relationship between dynamically changing epigenetic marks is not well understood.

The goal of my project is to understand the functional role of histone and DNA methylation remodeling during PGC epigenetic reprogramming.  To achieve this, I am utilizing a range of technologies including stem cells, mouse modeling, super resolution imaging and genomics.  My project is focused on the role of Polycomb Repressor Complex 2 and specifically the relationship between Embryonic Ectoderm development (EED) and DNA methylation in establishing the landscape for PGC identity and therefore organismal fertility.