The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 63: 77 - 82 (2019)

Vol 63, Issue 3-4-5

Special Issue: Early mammalian development

Breakthroughs and challenges of modern developmental biology and reproductive medicine

Published: 16 April 2019

Simon Fishel1, Anna-Katerina Hadjantonakis2, Berenika Plusa3, Laura Rienzi4, Yojiro Yamanaka5, Aneta Suwińska6 and Anna Ajduk*,6

1CARE Fertility Group, Nottingham, UK, 2Developmental Biology Program, Sloan Kettering Institute, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA, 3Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK, 4GENERA Centers for Reproductive Medicine, Clinica Valle Giulia, Rome, Italy, 5Goodman Cancer Research Centre, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, 6Department of Embryology, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland


In recent decades we have witnessed unprecedented progress in the field of the developmental biology of mammals. Building on 20th century discoveries, we have managed to increase our understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms governing early mammalian embryogenesis and link them to other biological questions, such as stem cells, regeneration, cancer, or tissue and organ formation. Consequently, it has also led to a creation of a completely new branch of reproductive medicine, i.e. assisted reproductive technology (ART). In this Special Issue of The International Journal of Developmental Biology (Int. J. Dev. Biol.) we wished to review state-of-the-art research regarding early mammalian development, from fertilization up to the implantation stage, and discuss its potential meaning for practical applications, including ART. As an introduction to the issue we present a compilation of short essays written by the most renowned scientists in the field, working both in basic and clinical research. The essays are dedicated to the greatest breakthroughs and challenges of 21st century developmental biology and reproductive medicine.


embryo, fertilization, ART, developmental biology

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