Department of Anatomy, Physiology, and Pharmacology
College of Veterinary Medicine
1130 Wire Road
Auburn, AL 36849
M.S., University of Georgia, 2013
Ph.D., Colorado State University, 2018
Dr. West received her B.S. and M.S. in Animal and Dairy Science from the University of Georgia (UGA) where she worked to derive and characterize avian induced pluripotent stem cells and primordial germ cells. After completing her M.S. degree, she moved to Colorado State University (CSU) to pursue a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences. Her work at CSU focused on early pregnancy and how the molecular pathways that cause cancer in adult tissues are critical for healthy placental development. Rachel continued her training in reproductive physiology with a postdoctoral position at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine where she studied the peri-implantation stage placenta and the mechanisms contributing to recurrent implantation failure.
Approximately 60% of all human pregnancies are lost before a woman even knows she is pregnant. Half of those lost embryos have genetic and chromosomal abnormalities. However, the other half are seemingly genetically normal yet fail to appropriately communicate with the uterus, leading to implantation failure. Due to scientific and ethical limitations, very little research has been performed in this area leading us to call the embryo implantation period the black box of pregnancy. The West lab uses new stem cell models and cutting edge technologies including next generation sequencing and genome editing to break open and shed some light into the black box of pregnancy loss.
Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=fY1jfnwAAAAJ&hl=en