Ashley Severance

B.A. Biology, Albion College
M.S. Biology, Central Michigan Univ.

Lab: K. Latham
Oocyte Spindle Quality


mouse oocytes

I study oocyte spindle biology. Although the meiotic spindle is similar in some ways to the mitotic spindle, it has many meiosis-specific mechanisms controlling spindle formation and meiotic progression. I am most interested in factors affecting spindle structure and function, which can result in aneuploidy if perturbed. My PhD research has involved in vitro maturation of mouse oocytes in a variety of conditions to determine the downstream affect on MI and MII spindle structure.

kids in classroom

I began my Girl Scouts outreach program with the hope of inspiring young women in science. Previously a Girl Scout myself, I understood the value of Girl Scouts and thought it would be the perfect medium to teach girls about being in STEM fields. During my activity, we do a DNA isolation, a crime DNA gel, and make a DNA model. I have done this presentation with all ages of girls and each time is a new and fun experience. We talk about doing experiments, what it’s like to be a scientist, and to never feel that you cannot do something because you are a girl! I am continually impressed by these amazing girls!


Severance, A., Latham, K. PLK1 regulates spindle association of phosphorylated eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E binding protein, and spindle function in mouse oocytes. American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology. August 2017.
Wood, M., Hollis, A., Severance, A., Karrick, M., Schisa, J. RNAi screen identifies novel regulators of RNP granules in the C. elegans germline. G3: Genes Genomes Genetics. August 2016. doi: 10.1534/g3.116.031559.

Severance, A., Latham, K. Meeting the meiotic challenge: Specializations in mammalian oocyte spindle formation. Molecular Reproduction and Development. Molecular Reproduction and Development. March 2018. doi: 10.1002/mrd.22967.
Severance, A., Sen, A. Oogenesis & Ovulation: Oocyte Maturation and Ovulation, comparative. Encyclopedia of Reproduction 2nd Edition. Academic Press. Accepted. To be published August 2018.


Developmental Origins of Metabolic Syndrome 2017
“PLK1 regulates EIF4EBP1 phosphorylation on mouse oocyte spindles”

Frontiers in Reproductive Epigenetics May 2017
“PLK1 regulates EIF4EBP1 at the meiotic spindle”
Michigan Alliance for Reproductive Technologies and Sciences 2015, 2016
“4E-BP1 serine 65 phosphorylation at the meiotic spindle is responsive to Plk1”

Michigan Alliance for Reproductive Technologies and Sciences 2017
Oral and poster presentation. Won best oral presentation award.
“PLK1 is the primary regulator of EIF4EBP1 phosphorylation at the meiotic spindle”