Project Description: Infertility affects approximately 1 in 20 Australian men of reproductive age, with 40% of cases having an unknown cause; as such, few targeted treatments can be provided. While assisted reproductive technologies (ART) have greatly improved over the years, still only ~20% of ART treatments where the male factor is the problem result in a live birth; at ~$4000/cycle, this presents a significant burden to couples, both financially and emotionally. In addition, the use of suboptimal sperm in ART can increase the risk of genetic abnormalities being transmitted to the offspring. Therefore, additional work is needed to understand the causes of male infertility, thereby leading to more effective treatments. We have identified a novel protein that, when absent, results in sub-fertility in male mice due to lack of sperm maturation. This project aims to understand the factors that are important in sperm maturation and further characterise this disorder using genetic and biochemical techniques.
Pre-requisite skills: Basic laboratory skills are a must. An understanding of protein biochemistry, cell and molecular biology is also important. Some experience with mouse handling and knowledge of genetics is desirable.
Supervisors: Dr Natalie Foot and Professor Sharad Kumar
Supervisor contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org