Podcast: “Assembled Bovine Blastoffs, the Future of Repro Efficiency, and the Importance of Science as a Global Endeavor with Carl Jiang, PhD”

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Episode Description

Deep dive with us into the exciting world of stem cell research as we welcome Carl Jiang, PhD, associate professor at the University of Florida and member of the University of Florida Genetics Institute. Jiang’s work focuses on reproductive biology, with an emphasis on understanding the epigenetic mechanisms during the embryo-development period when most pregnancy losses occur. Carl and host Matt Lucy get caught up during the International Embryo Technology Society’s 50th Annual Conference and discuss Carl’s path from growing up in rural China to studying embryology after being encouraged by an undergraduate mentor. The two explain the importance of bovine pregnancy success and how our understanding of the mechanisms of blastocysts—the embryo’s early stage—has been hampered by a limited supply of embryos. In a remarkable breakthrough, however, Carl and his team developed an efficient method to assemble bovine blastoids—bovine blastocyst–like structures—via trophoblast stem cells. Although still in the early stages, this technology opens up a more accessible in vitro model for studying embryo development and helping to potentially reduce pregnancy loss and improve reproductive efficiency in tomorrow’s dairy herds. Carl also lets us behind the scenes of his lab, explaining why one-on-one mentorship and a diversity of voices from around the globe are so important to research success. Finally, he explains why “Journal Club Day” is his favorite day at work and how it can kickstart new ideas and a renewed passion for science.