Switching on sex: How key mammalian sex-determining genes are activated (2015–2017)
Development as a male or female is one of the most important biological decisions made during embryonic
life. Although several of the key sex determining genes are now known, it is unclear how they come to be
active at the right time and in the right cells of the gonad to direct sex determination. This project uses
bioinformatics, biochemistry, cellular assays and powerful genome editing technologies in mice to pinpoint
essential regulatory elements and understand how they function. In addition to addressing key issues in
mammalian molecular genetics and developmental biology, data generated in this project may provide a
basis for innovative biotechnologies in pest management, wildlife conservation and livestock breeding.