Associate Professor Rebecca Robker
Dr Robker is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide in Australia. Her vision is to improve health of women and children by discovering how the ovary generates oocytes and then releases them for fertilization and the creation of a new individual. Her work is also uncovering cellular mechanisms by which different maternal physiological signals, such as obesity and age, affect ovarian function, and early embryo development. Within the Robinson Research Institute, she is a Leader of the Early Origins of Health Theme, which is identifying biological pathways by which events in early life, including at conception, influence later health. Dr Robker received her PhD from Baylor College of Medicine where her studies discovered novel mechanisms by which hormones control ovarian cell proliferation and identified proteases that control ovulation. Dr Robker undertook an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship in Leukocyte Biology where her studies revealed that leukocytes are resident in adipose tissue and activated by high fat diet. More recently, her team demonstrated that ovarian somatic cells and oocytes are affected by obesity and identified mechanisms by which lipid metabolism and lipid excess affect oocyte developmental potential.