NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow
Adelaide Medical School
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD (as Co-Supervisor) - email supervisor to discuss availability.
Dr Nicole McPherson is an NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow and runs the Sperm and Embryo Biology Research Group at the Robinson Research Institute and the Freemasons Centre for Men's Health at the University of Adelaide. Dr McPherson works in close affiliation with the Monash IVF group to ensure her research stays translatable. Our groups main research interests include;
- Lifestyle and environmental factors of male fertility
- Paternal Programming of Childrens Health
- Non-invasive measures of embryo quality
- Clinical Andrology
- Sperm/egg Interactions and associated early embryo development
HONOURS PROJECTS (for Semester 2, 2019 and Semester 1, 2020 Start)
1) Improving ICSI outcomes via sperm
Supervisors: Dr Nicole McPherson, Dr Leanne Pacella-Ince and Dr Deirdre Zander-Fox
Intra-cytoplasmic sperm (ICSI) is the most commonly performed ART technology with more than 85% of patients undergoing artificial insemination utilizing this technology. Although, now a routine part of ART treatment, studies have demonstrated that children born from ICSI have an increased risk for congenital birth defects compared to those conceived from natural conception. Before sperm has the capacity to fertilize and conceive a healthy embryo and fetus, it must first undergo post ejaculation maturation (capacitation and hyperactivation) which occurs in the female reproductive tract. However, current ICSI sperm preparation protocols completely ignore this post ejaculation sperm maturation step. In this project, we will utilise a clinical mouse model of ICSI to induce post ejaculation sperm maturation in vitro and determine outcomes to embryos and fetuses.
Location: Level 5, AHMS
2) Understanding how increased reactive oxygen species of sperm contributes to early embryo and fetal loss
Supervisor: Dr Nicole McPherson and Professor Michelle Lane
An imbalance in ROS towards oxidative stress in sperm occurs in many male pathologies (male obesity, smoking, aging, chemical exposure and subfertility) all of which have been shown to increase offspring susceptibility to disease in both animal models and humans. However, we and others have shown that although mitochondria superoxide is mildly elevated in sperm, it does not appear to be the main source of ROS in sperm. One of the primary hypothesis for how sperm acquirer increased ROS is via either through the depletion of their own antioxidant protection, making them reliant on the antioxidant protection of the male reproductive tract, or exposure to excessive intrinsic or extrinsic ROS production. In this project we will activate individual ROS species in mature sperm (O2, H2O2, O- , OH- and nitric oxide) and assess how this influences early embryo development.
Location: Level 5, AHMS
3) NEST-ER 'Non-invasive embryo secretome testing of endometrial receptivity'
Supervisors: Dr Nicole McPherson, Dr David Sharkey
Successful implantation depends on the intimate cross talk between a euploid competent embryo and a receptive endometrium. It has therefore, been estimated that the embryos themselves account for one third of all implantation failures, while an altered embryo–endometrial dialogue and suboptimal endometrial receptivity are responsible for the remaining two-thirds. Therefore, the embryo and its cross talk with the endometrium accounts for up to two-thirds of all implantation failure. This project will look at the secretome of the human embryo and how these factors may influence the pro-inflammatory response of endometrial like cells.
Location: Level 5 and level 6, AHMS
- Dr Leanne Pacella-Ince is the Deputy Scientific Director at Repromed
- Dr Deirdre Zander-Fox is the Regional Scientific Director of the Monash IVF Grou
Date Position Institution name 2015 NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow (Peter Doherty) University of Adelaide 2014 - 2014 Post-Doctoral Research Officer University of Adelaide 2011 Andrologist Repromed 2009 - 2011 Research Assistant Universty of Adelaide 2007 - 2009 Clinical Scientist Ashford Hospital 2007 - 2007 Technical Assistant University of Adelaide 2006 - 2007 Technical Assistant Ashford Hospital
Awards and Achievements
Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount 2014 Award Best Oral Presentation International Conference of Spermatology — — 2014 Recognition David Healy New Investigator Award Annual Society for Reproductive Biology Australia — 2013 Award Student Poster Prize, Robinson Institute Research Day Robinson Research Institute Australia 500 2013 Recognition New Investigator Award finalist Annual Society for Reproductive Biology Australia — 2012 Award Paediatrics and Reproductive Health Student Poster Prize Post Graduate Research Day, University of Adelaide Australia 500 2011 Award Prize paper Annual American Society for Reproductive Biology Australia — 2011 Recognition Oozoa Student Award finalist Annual Society for Reproductive Biology Australia — 2010 Recognition Honours Oral Award finalist Annual Australian Society of Medical Research Australia — 2010 Recognition Student Poster Prize A Healthy Start to Life, 2nd Nutritional Genomics Symposium Australia —
Date Institution name Country Title 2011 - 2014 University of Adelaide Australia PhD (Deans Commendation) 2009 - 2010 University of Adelaide Australia First Class Honours in Health Science 2005 - 2007 University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Health Science
Year Citation 2016 Fullston, T., Shehadeh, H., Schjenken, J., McPherson, N., Robertson, S., Zander-Fox, D., & Lane, M. (2016). Paternal Obesity and Programming of Offspring Health. In L. Green, & R. Hester (Eds.), Parental Obesity: Intergenerational Programming and Consequences (1 ed., pp. 105-131). New York: Springer.
Year Citation 2011 Lane, M., & Palmer, N. (2011). AGE RELATED DECLINE IN EMBRYO DEVELOPMENT CAN BE REVERSED BY ACTIVATION OF MITOCHONDRIAL METABOLISM IN A MOUSE MODEL. In FERTILITY AND STERILITY Vol. 96 (pp. S35). Orlando, FL: ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC.
|Date||Project/ No.||Funding Body||Amount|
|2015 - 2019||
Sperm methylation status predicts embryo and pregnancy outcomes in male obesity (AA1088964)
|NHMRC Early Career Research Fellowship (Peter Doherty)||$309,436|
|2019||Sperm Class Analyser CASA System||Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Research Infrastructure Funding Awards||$72,545|
|2017||'GIRRTH' improve IVF/ICSI outcomes in obese men||Monash IVF MREF||$29,980|
|2016||Acrosome reacted sperm - a novel way to improve ICSI technology||Monash IVF MREF||$29,833|
|2014||Male obesity changes the methylome of sperm and impairs pregnancy outcomes in humans||CIA - Robinson Research Institute Innovation Seed Funding Program||$20,000|
Human sperm microRNAs are dyregulated by obesity and are potentially biomarkers for ART outcomes
|CIC – Robinson Research Institute innovation Seed Funding Program||$25,000|
|2014||Complex Midwifery and Family Centred Care lecture, ‘Interpreting a semen analysis and lifestyle factors of male sub- fertility’||Repromed|
|2014 - current||CRBM lecture, ‘Clinical Andrology’ and ‘Lifestyle Factors and Male Fertility’||University of Adelaide|
|2014||HDR III workshop, ‘ART and New Technology||University of Adelaide|
|2013 - current||HDR III lecture and workshop, ‘Lifestyle Factors and Male Fertility’||University of Adelaide|
Date Role Committee Institution Country 2014 - ongoing Member International Society for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease — — 2011 - ongoing Member Freemason's Centre for Men's Health — — 2010 - ongoing Member Australian Society for Medical Research — — 2010 - ongoing Member Robinson Research Institute — — 2009 - ongoing Member Society for Reproductive Biology — — 2009 - ongoing Member Fertility Society of Australia — — 2009 - ongoing Member Scientists in Reproductive Technology — — 2009 - ongoing Member Research Centre for Reproductive Health — —
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