2023/24 Annual OGGS Recipient


The Obstetrics and Gynaecology Graduate Research Scholarships (OGGS) encourage and recognize excellence in research at the graduate level within the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University. 

Congratulations to Stefan Grahovac from Dr. Dean Betts’ laboratory who is the winner of the 2023/2024 Obstetrics and Gynaecology Graduate Scholarship (OGGS).

Stefan’s research project focuses on understanding the role of a protein called p66Shc in maintaining the pluripotent cell identity. This protein is involved in several signalling pathways that regulate pluripotency, including Wnt, JAK/STAT, Ras/MAPK, and Hippo. By using a specific Serine-36 mutant cell line, we are investigating the genetic interactions that allow p66Shc to maintain pluripotency. We have found that when Serine-36 is mutated, p66Shc is unable to activate and move to the mitochondria, leading to changes in cellular metabolism. We are using a genome-scale pooled CRISPR screen to delete every gene in the genome and identify novel p66Shc interactors. Our goal is to better understand the developmental origins of health and disease and develop new therapeutic options for treating infertility, as defective p66Shc has been linked to impaired early embryo development, lung morphogenesis, and cancer.

Congratulations Stefan! We are looking forward to your presentation of your research activities at the 2024 Annual Paul Harding Research Awards Day.