The University of Cambridge wishes to appoint a post-doctoral scientist to join the research group of Professor Heike Laman in the Department of Pathology. We are searching for a highly motivated scientist to investigate ubiquitin biology and its role in sperm morphogenesis with the ultimate aim of understanding and treating male infertility.
Infertility is a common and complex medical issue affecting an estimated 1 in 7 couples worldwide, with male infertility contributing to about half of these cases. In 10-15% of infertile males, there is a complete absence of sperm production, and a high proportion of these cases are due to genetic abnormalities causing a maturation arrest in germ cell development. For these patients, prognosis is poor. We identified a mouse with a maturation arrest, in which males deficient for the Fbxo7 ubiquitin ligase, show a complete loss of developing germ cells during cellular remodelling. This unprecedented sterility phenotype in mice provides us a unique opportunity to study a precise stage where there is profound a morphological transformation, from a round cell to a mature sperm with a compacted head and a flagellum. Key project goals are to create mouse models with cell type-specific deletions of Fbxo7 to assess their phenotypes and to use proteomics approaches to investigate their ubiquitin profiles, proteasome functions and advanced imaging technologies, like volumetric EM, to understand the cause of this failure to transform morphology.
Additional details: https://www.jobs.cam.ac.uk/job/41961/