Stasa Stankovic, a PhD student in the Unit’s Early Life Aetiology and Mechanisms programme, has reached the top 10 biomedicine finalists in STEM for Britain – a major scientific poster competition organised by the UK government’s Parliamentary & Scientific Committee.
STEM for Britain is a major scientific poster competition and exhibition which has been held in Parliament since 1997, and is organised by the Parliamentary & Scientific Committee. Its aim is to give members of both Houses of Parliament an insight into the outstanding research work being undertaken in UK universities and bridge the gap between scientific advance and policy implementation by offering a platform for communication between academic and government bodies.
We are delighted that Stasa Stankovic, a PhD student at the Unit and Clare Hall, Cambridge, has been selected as finalist for STEM for Britain 2022 in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences category as 1 of the top 10 finalists from across the UK. She will present her work to Parliamentarians and subject judges on 07 March 2022 in the Houses of Parliament and compete for the Westminster Medal.
Stasa Stankovic is a third year PhD student, supervised by Professor John Perry, Professor Ken Ong at the Unit and Professor Eva Hoffmann at the University of Copenhagen. Stasa’s project elucidates the potential of genomics and proteomics techniques in reproductive ageing and fertility, highlighting its impact on UK healthcare. She is specifically focused on understanding the genetic architecture behind menopause and reproductive lifespan, and their link to later-life cardio-metabolic health outcomes in women.
Currently, in clinical practice there isn’t a single test that can predict the menopausal age nor the methodology that can prolong reproductive window and improve fertility. Using cutting-edge genomic technologies in large-scale population studies, such as UK Biobank, Stasa and her colleagues were the first to identify the largest number of genetic markers that determine the age of menopause and demonstrate the ability to through genetic manipulation of discovered gene candidates slow down ageing of ovaries and prolong fertility in mice. This has a potential to pave the way to fertility treatment that could extend the natural reproductive lifespan of women, and to novel markers to improve the prediction of early menopause and natural fertility window, thus helping women make more informed reproductive choices.