Iatrogenic ('Clinician-induced') damage incurred by human sperm during infertility treatment: Postgraduate research and collaborative developments between the universities of Malaya and Oxford
Yelumalai S., Jones C., Coward K.
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is a suite of laboratory techniques designed to rescue infertile phenotypes. While ART has led to the birth of 5 million ART babies worldwide, success rates rarely exceed 40%. One potential factor for this could be iatrogenic ('clinician-induced') damage to critical sperm proteins, such as phospholipase C zeta (PLCζ) and protamine, which are fundamental for oocyte activation and sperm DNA integrity, respectively. This report describes how we have begun to investigate the adverse effects of ART techniques upon these key sperm proteins. We also describe the pathway taken by Miss Suseela Yelumalai to acquire a scholarship from the Malaysian Government and her postgraduate experience at the University of Oxford. We introduce the facilities and learning opportunities available at the Institute of Reproductive Sciences (IRS) which houses Dr Kevin Coward's research laboratory, and finally, highlight the potential for collaborative development between the Universities of Oxford and Malaya.