Headshot portrait of Karla Manzanares - Bio-X Undergraduate Fellow
2022 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Bioengineering
Mentor: Calvin Kuo (Medicine – Hematology)

“High-Throughput Phenotyping of Endometrial Organoids”

The endometrium is the inner lining of the uterus that regenerates and degrades over the course of each menstrual cycle in preparation for pregnancy. Currently, little is known about the characteristics of uterine endometrial stem and progenitor cells. This information is vital for understanding the cyclical, dynamic regenerative capacity of the endometrium and the origins of endometrial cancers. This project will investigate this question by growing and then isolating endometrial organoids from microwells for high throughput characterization and time-lapse imaging. Molecular and cellular differences can then be described between two morphologically distinct types of endometrial epithelial organoids: cuboidal and columnar endometrial organoids. Additionally, this microwell approach will provide a method for isolating distinct morphologies of genetically engineered endometrial organoids, which are designed to model cancer. This work will provide a means for correlating morphological features with molecular profiles. This work will allow us to better understand and improve our understanding of endometrial cancers.