null Hugh Clarke, PhD

Senior Scientist, RI-MUHC, Glen site

Child Health and Human Development Program

Centre for Translational Biology

Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, McGill University



reproduction • infertility • oocyte • follicle

Research Focus

My research focuses on the growth and development of the oocyte within the follicle of the ovary before it is ovulated and fertilized to produce a new individual. Growth is a crucial period during the development of the oocyte, because this is when it manufactures and stores molecules that the embryo will need after fertilization. Because growth is a very slow process, it is also a time when the oocyte is vulnerable to damage from environmental toxins and this damage can affect the health of the embryo. We are particularly interested in how the developing oocyte communicates with the surrounding cells of the follicle to ensure its healthy development.

Selected Publications

Click on Pubmed to see my current publications list

  • Abbassi, L., S. El-Hayek, K. Freire Carvalho, W Wang, Q Yang, S Granados Aparici, R Mondadori, V Bordignon and H.J. Clarke (2021). Epidermal growth factor receptor signaling uncouples germ cells from the somatic follicular compartment at ovulation. Nat. Commun. 12, 1438. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-21644-z. PMID: 33664246.

  • Grosbois, J., M. Vermeersch, M. Devos, H.J. Clarke and I. Demeestere (2019). Ultrastructure and intercellular contact-mediated communication in cultured human early stage follicles exposed to mTORC1 inhibitor. Mol. Hum. Reprod. 25, 706–716. doi:10.1093/molehr/gaz053. PMID: 31588500.

  • El-Hayek, S., Q. Yang, L. Abbassi, G. Fitzharris and H.J. Clarke (2018). Mammalian oocytes locally remodel follicular architecture to provide the foundation for germ line-soma communication. Curr. Biol. 28, 1124-1131. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.02.039. PMID: 29576478.

  • Vieux, K.F. and H.J. Clarke (2018). CNOT6 regulates a novel pattern of mRNA deadenylation during oocyte meiotic maturation. Sci. Rep. 8, 6812 (1-14). doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-25187-0. PMID: 29717177.

  • Clarke, H.J. (2018). Regulation of germ cell development by intercellular signaling in the mammalian ovarian follicle. Wiley Interdiscip. Rev. Dev. Biol. 7, 1. doi: 10.1002/wdev.294. PMID: 28892263.