OOSCOCS: Socs3 gene in oocyte maturation and fertilisation – a novel link between inflammation and infertility


Gahurová Lenka, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics
01 Jun 2017 – 31 Jul 2021
EC, H2020-MSCA-IF-2015, ID 708255

OOCSOCS (ID 708255)
Title CZ: Gen Socs3 ve zrání a oplodnění oocytů – nová souvislost mezi zánětem a neplodností
Title EN: Socs3 gene in oocyte maturation and fertilisation – a novel link between inflammation and infertility
PI: Gahurová Lenka (née Veselovská)
Supervisor: Bruce Alexander W., Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics
Implementation: 01 Jun 2017 – 31 Jul 2021
Budget: 142 720,80 EUR (SCI)
Provider: European Commission
Call: H2020-MSCA-IF-2015


Increasing maternal age, a prevalent trend in developed countries, negatively influences oocyte quality and consequently female fertility – 5 % of all couples experience fertility problems arising from a physiological source in the women. To develop novel approaches to prevent or treat infertility, a more complete understanding of oogenesis is required. The host laboratory has recently identified the Socs3 gene, to date associated only with roles in the immune system, as a novel strong candidate regulating oogenesis. The project exploits a genetic approach to ablate the Socs3 gene from the female germ-line and addresses the role of Socs3 gene during mouse oocyte maturation and fertilisation, e.g. in correct chromosomal segregation, followed by further detailed and cutting-edge functional characterisation. The results could lead to the identification of novel therapeutic targets to treat female infertility. Dr. Gahurova, coming from a world-renown institute, is joining a well-established early mammalian development orientated host group, within the Department of Molecular Biology at the University of South Bohemia. Synergies arising from this multidisciplinary proposal will benefit both host and applicant. In particular, Dr. Gahurova is bringing a wealth of highly relevant mouse oocyte experience and bioinformatics skills for genome-scale analyses that are currently an underrepresented skills set in the host laboratory and host institution, as well as her network of UK based collaborators. She will receive training that is both complementary to her current knowledge and skills and novel and highly contemporary in relation to the experimental approaches used. Consequently, the fellowship award will substantially further the Dr. Gahurova’s career ambitions to become an independent early mammalian developmental biologist within her native Central European region, and facilitate the under-represented exchange of ideas between Western and Eastern European countries.


  • Assessment of the quality of the Socs3-deficient oocytes.
  • Characterisation of the maturation phenotypes of the Socs3-deficient oocytes.
  • Assessment of the role of Socs3 gene in fertilisation and preventing polyspermy.
  • Identification of oocyte proteins interacting with Socs3, functional characterisation of the observed phenotypes.


  • Publications in leading international peer-reviewed journals (e.g. Genes & Development, Developmental Cell) – ideal situation should result in two high-impact manuscripts.
  • Seminars – internal DMB-USB seminar (once for the duration of this fellowship), seminars at Czech and foreign institutions where collaborations are established, exploiting the tradition of reciprocal seminar invitations .
  • Conferences – oral and poster presentations at national (e.g. Czech Oocyte & Embryo Club) and international (e.g. Society of Developmental Biology, EMBO) conferences, at least once per year.
  • Informal meetings – with other developmental biologists within DMB-USB and BC-CAS, with established and potential collaborators.
  • Laboratory website – presentation of published findings. Dissemination of the results within the broader scientific community will facilitate the development of Dr. Gahurova’s network of contacts and new collaborations.