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Source: Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council news release

New Prague, Minn. - The Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council (DCRC) selected Isabella Sellmer Ramos, a master's degree student at the University of Missouri, as the 2023 DCRC Scholar. As the award recipient, Ramos earned an expense-paid trip to attend the 2023 DCRC Annual Meeting, Nov. 14-17, in Salt Lake City.

In 2020, Ramos attained a bachelor's degree in veterinary medicine from Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil. She did a research internship at Kansas State University in 2019. Then, Ramos completed her residency in bovine reproduction in Roberto Sartori's laboratory at the University of São Paulo.

Studying reproductive physiology, Ramos is investigating the underlying mechanisms of postpartum uterine disease, mainly focusing on the changes that could be observed in uterine histoarchitecture of diseased cows to potentially provide a more efficient course of treatment that could prevent reproductive losses. Her research project aims to evaluate how uterine disease affects the functional regeneration of uterine glands during uterine involution. "Uterine glands are essential for fertility because their secretory products (histotroph) are essential for pregnancy establishment (conceptus attachment) and early embryonic development (histotrophic nutrition)," Ramos stated.

Earlier this year, JDS Communications (Journal of Dairy Science) accepted Ramos' work for publication. This research provided evidence supporting the hypothesis that uterine disease slows glandular regeneration at both early (30 days) and late (80-165 days) postpartum time points. Also, this work provided some of the preliminary data that was used in a funded U.S. Department of Agriculture proposal - Disease Programing of Endometrial Regeneration and Function in Postpartum Dairy Cows. Ramos is currently working on the functional capacity of uterine glands from diseased cows by studying the expression of FOXA2 - a gland-specific transcription factor.

The DCRC Scholars program recognizes an outstanding graduate student studying dairy, animal or veterinary science, microbiology or a related program, with an area of interest that includes dairy cattle reproduction and fertility. Applicants submitted an interest statement that detailed their interest in dairy cattle reproduction, career goals and research project(s), and their academic adviser provided a letter of recommendation.

The Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council is focused on bringing together all sectors of the dairy industry - producers, consultants, academia and allied industry professionals - for improved reproductive performance. DCRC provides an unprecedented opportunity for all groups to work together to take dairy cattle reproduction to the next level.

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