Senior Principal Investigator: Felipe Vilella

The scientific interests of the maternal-embryonic cross-talk group focus on understanding the existing mechanisms of communication between the mother and the embryo and elucidating how the mother genetically modifies the preimplantation embryo. The group’s research was the first to demonstrate the transmission of genetic information from the mother to the preimplantation embryo, demonstrating that the mother can modify the embryo at the transcriptional and/or epigenetic level regardless of the genetic background (PMID: 26395145). They also studied the effect of microRNAs secreted by endometrial cells on the embryo (PMID: 31665361, 29390102) and used endometrial biopsies to enable the discovery of a transcriptomic signature of human endometrial receptivity.

Their current research focuses on the in-depth characterization of the endometrium using single-cell analysis (as part of the Human Cell Atlas society) to 1) provide unprecedented insight into the transcriptomic, genomic, and spatial alterations occurring in this critical female organ throughout the menstrual cycle and across entire lifespans and 2) better understand embryo implantation (PMID: 32929266).

To learn more about what we do and access our main publications, visit

Maternal-embryonic cross-talk