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Speaker: Prof Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova (Professor of Mathematics for Healthcare, University of Exeter)

Abstract: In mammals, reproduction is controlled by the coordinated action of the brain, pituitary gland and gonads. The hypothalamic Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) pulse generator drives the periodic release of the gonadotropic hormones, LH and FSH from the pituitary gland, which are critical for gametogenesis and ovulation. Moreover, the operation of this pulse generator at an appropriate frequency is critical for maintaining normal reproductive health throughout the life course. However, the precise mechanisms underlying GnRH pulse generation and frequency decoding remain poorly understood. In this talk I will present a combination of theory and experiments that offers an insight into these elusive mechanisms. We believe that these results set the stage for a quantitative, system-level understanding of the reproductive neuroendocrine system in mammals.