Researchers at Rutgers University, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller University, and Cornell University are teaming up to examine how the processes that regulate gene expression and chromosome behaviors can lead to health issues, including cancer, birth defects, miscarriage, and infertility.

Cells undergo a remarkable transformation process to form eggs and sperm, which upon fertilization can form an entire organism. A key step of this transformation involves meiosis, a cell division that halves the genome content of cells. During early stages of egg and sperm development, cells divide by mitosis, the process used by most cells in our body. They then undergo a complete remodeling of the gene expression landscape, and switch to meiosis. Mis-regulation of the mitosis-to-meiosis switch can lead to tumor-like growth, depletion of the reproductive cell pool or failure to complete meiosis. To read the full story.