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Oogenesis spotlighted: making mature human oocytes

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 OVO-GROWTH project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the OVO-GROWTH project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "OVO-GROWTH" about.

patients    ethical    ovarian    strips    identities    mice    developmental    reproductive    oogenesis    women    vivo    seq    expertise    cell    outcomes    later    drop    networks    signalling    perform    damaged    risk    chemotherapy    biopsies    trajectories    single    worldwide    somatic    disease    counterparts    human    mini    breakthrough    efficient    cellular    niche    gonadotoxic    cancer    gametogenesis    assays    fail    reveal    led    conceive    reintroducing    personalized    patient    engineer    model    humans    preservation    latest    foetal    rare    profile    too    fertility    hours    childhood    survive    adulthood    hematopoietic    successful    maturation    transcriptional    pregnancies    plan    age    cryopreserve    mouse    postnatal    graft    vitro    follicular    mathematical    cells    oocyte    sequenced    autologous    cortical    algorithms    thereafter    material    oocytes    possibility    netherlands    eggs    benchmark    xenotransplantation    explore    profiling    life    alternatives    molecular    thousands    malignancies    approval    tissue    therapy    ovary    systematically    transplantation    mechanisms    toxicology    organoid    follicle   

Project "OVO-GROWTH" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: LEIDEN
postcode: 2333 ZA

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Total cost 2˙000˙000 €
 EC max contribution 2˙000˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-COG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-07-01   to  2022-06-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    ACADEMISCH ZIEKENHUIS LEIDEN NL (LEIDEN) coordinator 2˙000˙000.00


 Project objective

Women who survive childhood cancer often fail to conceive because their eggs are damaged by (gonadotoxic) chemotherapy. A major breakthrough has been the possibility to cryopreserve cortical strips of their ovarian tissue for autologous transplantation later in life. This has led to over 40 successful pregnancies worldwide, the latest in the Netherlands. However, the risk of reintroducing cancer cells with the ovarian graft in patients with previous hematopoietic malignancies is too great and alternatives are needed. Here, I propose to build on my expertise in gametogenesis in mice and humans and perform a detailed study of the cellular networks and molecular pathways that control development and maturation of the oocyte within the human ovary. We have access and ethical approval for research on human foetal tissue and postnatal ovarian biopsies over a wide age range. I will use this rare material to systematically benchmark the transcriptional profile of cells in the human ovary (oocytes as well as somatic cells) during development and adulthood using Drop-seq, a novel cost-efficient single-cell technology that allows the profiling of thousands of cells in a matter of hours. Thereafter, we will apply mathematical algorithms to reveal cellular identities, developmental trajectories and signalling networks that control oogenesis. With this knowledge, I plan to engineer a human follicular niche creating a “mini-ovary” in vitro that could support the formation and maturation of the oocyte (using patient-specific cells) and to explore mechanisms of follicle maturation through a xenotransplantation mouse model. The cellular outcomes of these assays will be sequenced using Drop-seq and directly compared to their in vivo counterparts. Our approach will lead to more effective personalized-therapy for fertility preservation and contribute to the development of an in vitro mini-ovary organoid model to use in human reproductive toxicology and disease modelling.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 X. Fan, M. Bialecka, I. Moustakas, E. Lam, V. Torrens-Juaneda, N. V. Borggreven, L. Trouw, L. A. Louwe, G. S. K. Pilgram, H. Mei, L. van der Westerlaken, S. M. Chuva de Sousa Lopes
Single-cell reconstruction of follicular remodeling in the human adult ovary
published pages: , ISSN: 2041-1723, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-11036-9
Nature Communications 10/1 2020-01-29
2018 Ábel Vértesy, Wibowo Arindrarto, Matthias S. Roost, Björn Reinius, Vanessa Torrens-Juaneda, Monika Bialecka, Ioannis Moustakas, Yavuz Ariyurek, Ewart Kuijk, Hailiang Mei, Rickard Sandberg, Alexander van Oudenaarden, Susana M. Chuva de Sousa Lopes
Parental haplotype-specific single-cell transcriptomics reveal incomplete epigenetic reprogramming in human female germ cells
published pages: na, ISSN: 2041-1723, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04215-7
Nature Communications 9/1 2019-05-27
2017 Maria Gomes Fernandes, Nannan He, Fang Wang, Liesbeth Van Iperen, Cristina Eguizabal, Roberto Matorras, Bernard A J Roelen, Susana M Chuva De Sousa Lopes
Human-specific subcellular compartmentalization of P-element induced wimpy testis-like (PIWIL) granules during germ cell development and spermatogenesis
published pages: 258-269, ISSN: 0268-1161, DOI: 10.1093/humrep/dex365
Human Reproduction 33/2 2019-03-12
2018 Maria Gomes Fernandes, Monika Bialecka, Daniela C F Salvatori, Susana M Chuva de Sousa Lopes
Characterization of migratory primordial germ cells in the aorta-gonad-mesonephros of a 4.5-week-old human embryo: a toolbox to evaluate in vitro early gametogenesis
published pages: 233-243, ISSN: 1460-2407, DOI: 10.1093/molehr/gay011
MHR: Basic science of reproductive medicine 24/5 2019-03-12

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