Ingrid Knarston

Ingrid Knarston, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Melbourne/Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia, has received IFER funding from 2018-2019 for her project, “A novel human-based in vitro model for testis development and disorders of sex development to replace the use of animal models and animal products.” Ingrid will be using human induced pluripotent stem cells to generate testis organoids to study disorders of sex development. While Ingrid’s lab has already successfully generated testis organoids, the reagents used during the process relied on animal-derived products. Her research project seeks to optimize the differentiation protocol to generate testis organoids without using animal-derived products and to generate an alternative to using animal-derived antibodies. Ingrid’s project has the potential to reduce the use of mutant mouse models to study genes implicated in disorders of sex development and will also establish a protocol for testis organoid development that does not rely on animal-derived products.