I'm currently a PostDoc in Robin Lovell-Badge Lab working on sex determination. I am interested in understanding more about the genetic mechanisms through which an individual's sex is established and maintained throughout life, in particular in the female context. Successful reproduction is the most important event for survival of any species and it mostly depends on proper gonadal development and function the molecular understanding of which is the main aim of my research. I use a combination of transcriptomics and proteomics approaches to tackle unsolved questions in the sex determination field.
Before joining Robin's lab I spent 4 years doing a PhD at Imperial College London under David MacIntyre and Phillip Bennet supervision. My PhD project was aimed to investigate gene networks underlying both premature and on-time activation of uterine contractions during labor in a mouse model. The question was: what triggers at gene level the onset of labor? Could we delay labor by manipulating any of these pathways? In humans even a small delay in the onset of labor could be critical to allow for proper fetus developmental before birth so this was a critical question. Through the use of transcriptomic approaches we identified across a timecourse all genes expressed prior and during the onset of murine labor in 3 models: normal gestation and labor, inflammation-induced preterm labor, and progesterone withdrawal-induced preterm labor.
We discovered that we could delay inflammation-induced preterm labor by blocking activation of JNK pathways and that in both normal labor and progesterone-withdrawal-induced preterm labor, inflammation was rather a consequence than a cause of labor so interventions aimed to block inflammation within these specific contexts is likely to be unefficient in delay labor onset.
Caroline Eozenou,(..),Roberta Migale,( ...) et al., “Testis formation in XX individuals resulting from novel pathogenic variants in Wilms’ tumor 1 (WT1) gene”, PNAS, June 2020, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1921676117.
Roberta Migale, David A. MacIntyre, Stefano Cacciatore, Yun S. Lee, Henrik Hagberg, Bronwen R. Herbert, Mark R. Johnson, Donald Peebles, Simon N. Waddington and Phillip R. Bennett. “Modelling hormonal and inflammatory contributions to preterm and term labor using uterine temporal transcriptomics”, BMC Medicine, June 2016, DOI: 10.1186/s12916-016-0632-4.
Roberta Migale, Bronwen R Herbert, Yun S Lee, Lynne Sykes, Simon N Waddington, Donald Peebles, Henrik Hagberg, Mark R Johnson, Phillip R Bennett, David A MacIntyre. “Specific Lipopolysaccharide Serotypes Induce Differential Maternal and Neonatal Inflammatory Responses in a Murine Model of Preterm Labor”, The American Journal of Pathology, 2015 Sep; 185(9):2390-401, DOI: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2015.05.015.
David A MacIntyre*, Yun S Lee*, Roberta Migale, Bronwen R Herbert, Simon N Waddington, Donald Peebles, Henrik Hagberg, Mark R Johnson, Phillip R Bennett. “Activator protein 1 is a key terminal mediator of inflammation-induced preterm labor in mice”, The FASEB Journal, May; 28(5):2358-68, DOI: 10.1096/fj.13-247783, *co-first authors.
“Temporal and spatial analysis of the gonadal transcriptome during the sex determination window”, Roberta Migale, Nitzan Gonen, Gavin Kelly, Anna Lobley & Robin Lovell-Badge. Poster presented at the Eighth International Symposium On Vertebrate Sex Determination, Kona, Hawaii, April 16-20, 2018.
“Relative contribution of hormonal and inflammatory pathways to uterine transcriptome dynamics in term and preterm labour”, Roberta Migale, David A. MacIntyre, Stefano Cacciatore, Yun S. Lee, Bronwen R. Herbert, Simon N. Waddington, Donald Peebles, Henrik Hagberg, Mark R. Johnson & Phillip R. Bennett. (Poster presentation, Society for Reproductive Investigation 2016, awarded Best Poster Award).
“Mouse Myometrial Transcriptome Analysis By RNAseq Shows Inflammation Is a Side-Effect, Not a Requisite, for Labor”, Roberta Migale, David A MacIntyre, Yun S Lee, Yeping Lu, Bronwen R Herbert, Simon Waddington, Donald Peebles, Henrik Hagberg, Mark R Johnson, and Phillip R Bennett, REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCES, Vol 22, pages 66A-66A, 2015 (Oral presentation, Society for Reproductive Investigation 2015, awarded the Pfizer President's Presenter Award 2015).
“Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharides induce differential maternal and neonatal inflammatory responses in a murine model of preterm labour”, Roberta Migale, Bronwen R. Herbert, Yun S. Lee, Lynne Sykes, Simon N. Waddington, Donald Peebles, Henrik Hagberg, Mark R. Johnson, Phillip R. Bennett and David A. MacIntyre. (Oral presentation, Harris-Wellbeing Inaugural Preterm Birth Research Conference 2015).
“Mouse Myometrial Transcriptome Analysis by RNAseq shows Inflammation is a Side-effect, not a Requisite, for Labour”. Roberta Migale, David A MacIntyre, Yun S Lee, Bronwen R Herbert, Yeping Lu, Simon Waddington, Donald Peebles, Henrik Hagberg, Mark R Johnson and Phillip R Bennett. (Oral presentation, Harris-Wellbeing Inaugural Preterm Birth Research Conference 2015).
“TLR4-Mediated Activation of AP-1 Drives the Expression of Labour Associated Genes in Mouse Myometrium”, Roberta Migale, David A MacIntyre, Yun S Lee, Andrea Charalambous, Bronwen R Herbert, Simon N Waddington, Donald Peebles, Henrik Hagberg, Mark R Johnson, Phillip R Bennett. REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCES, Vol. 21, pages 249A-249A, 2014 (Poster, presented at Society for Reproductive Investigation 2014 and at Blair Bell Annual Academic RCOG Meeting 2013, Best Poster Award).
“TLR4-Mediated Activation of AP1 Via JNK Induces Preterm Labour in the Mouse”, David A MacIntyre, Roberta Migale, Yun S Lee, Bronwen Herbert, Lynne Sykes, Vasso Terzidou, Mark R Johnson, Phillip R Bennett, REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCES, Vol.20, pages 296A-296A, 2013, (Poster, Society for Reproductive Investigation 2013).
2020 March of Dimes Blue Skies Research Project grant – Collaboration with Imperial College
2020 Keystone Symposia scholarship
2020 Expert’s Choice Finalist – BioRender poster competition
2019 Green Impact Bronze Award- an environmental accreditation scheme for labs supported by NUS
2018 “Top Reviewer award”- Molecular Human Reproduction Journal
2016 Society of Reproductive Investigation Best Poster Prize
2016 Imperial College Trust Travel Grant (500£)
2015 Pfizer President's Presenter Award, Society of Reproductive Investigation (1000$)
2015 Genesis Research Trust- Research grant (10000£)
2013 Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists - Blair Bell Academic Meeting, Best Poster Prize
2012 Imperial College-Genesis Research Trust scholarship (50000£)