Single-cell transcriptomic profiling of in vitro human embryo implantation

Group: Bioengineering in reproductive health
Group leader: Samuel Ojosnegros (

How do human embryos implant in the mother’s uterus? What transcriptomic changes occur in the cells of the embryo when they first get in touch with the endometrium and start implanting? How can this molecular information help us to better understand pregnancy and improve assisted reproduction in the clinic to help couples that cannot conceive? These are the questions that will be tackled in our proposed PhD project. For obvious reasons, the study of human implantation has remained a major challenge. Recently, our lab at IBEC (Bioengineering in Reproductive Health) has developed an in vitro system that allows us to directly observe and manipulate the first steps of mammalian implantation. Furthermore, the advent of single-cell sequencing technologies now enables investigating these molecular events at an unprecedented resolution. Therefore, in collaboration with the group of Manuel Irimia at the Center for Genomic Regulation (Transcriptomics of vertebrate development and evolution), we propose to blend both approaches (single-cell transcriptomic analyses of in vitro implantation of mouse and human embryos) to investigate how the first steps of pregnancy proceed in humans with the aim of improving protocols of assisted reproduction in the clinic.