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Contact Information

Jay Baltz, PhD

Ms. Terri van Gulik

Jay Baltz

Senior Scientist, Chronic Disease Program
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology
University of Ottawa
Cross-appointed, Cellular and Molecular Medicine
University of Ottawa

Research Interests

My laboratory works on mammalian oocyte growth and maturation and early embryo development. At the time a new life begins, the egg and embryo change very rapidly, virtually becoming a completely different organism every few hours. We are particularly interested in the physiological alterations that occur to accommodate the constantly changing nature of the egg and embryo and their implications for the health of the embryo and offspring. We want to understand the precisely-choreographed activation and deactivation of the array of transporters and other physiological mechanisms needed to supply the constantly changing needs of the egg and embryo during these earliest stages of development, and understand what can go wrong. Overall, we hope to add to our knowledge of the physiological processes important to mammalian eggs and embryos at the very beginning of life. We believe that this type of research will help improve the health of babies and the treatment of infertility through research leading to the development of improved techniques for producing healthy oocytes and embryos.

Brief Biography

Dr. Baltz received his B.A. in Physics from the University of Pennsylvania, a Ph.D. in Biophysics from The Johns Hopkins University, and postdoctoral training with Dr. John Biggers at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Baltz is now Associate Scientific Director and a Senior Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, and Professor and Director of Basic Research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Ottawa, as well as being cross-appointed in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. Dr. Baltz has received an Ontario Premier's Research Excellence Award, a James Shannon Award from the US National Institutes of Health, and has been a Medical Council of Canada Scholar. He is currently Director of the CIHR Training Program in Reproduction, Early Development, and the Impact on Health (REDIH), and Chair of the federal Stem Cell Oversight Committee. He previously served on the CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health Institute Advisory Board, and as Director of the Program on Oocyte Health, a Strategic Initiative of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health. Dr. Baltz is a specialist in the field of reproduction and developmental biology, where he has published extensively in the areas of preimplantation embryo development and egg development in the ovary.

Selected Publications

M Kooistra, JM Trasler, and JM Baltz (2013).  Folate transport in mouse cumulus-oocyte complexes and preimplantation embryos. Biol. Reprod. 89: 63, 1-9.  Commentary: MRW Mann and AJ Watson, Biol. Reprod. 89: 62,1-2.

C Zhou, G FitzHarris, SL Alper, and JM Baltz (2013). Na+/H+ exchange is inactivated during mouse oocyte meiosis, facilitating glycine accumulation that maintains embryo cell volume. J. Cell. Physiol. 228: 2042-2053.

MB Lee, M Kooistra, B Zhang, S Slow, AL Fortier, TA Garrow, M Lever, JM Trasler, and JM Baltz (2012). Betaine Homocysteine Methyltransferase is active in the mouse blastocyst and promotes inner cell mass development. J. Biol. Chem. 287:33094-33103.

AP Tartia, N Rudraraju, T Richards, MA Hammer, P Talbot, and JM Baltz (2009).  Cell volume regulation is initiated in mouse oocytes after ovulation.  Development 136: 2247-2254.

G FitzHarris, V Siyanov, and JM Baltz (2007). Granulosa cells regulate oocyte intracellular pH against acidosis in preantral follicles by multiple mechanisms. Development 134:4283-4295.