A study of abnormal sperm by a School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences researcher has been awarded $38,732 funding in the latest round of the UQ Early Career Researcher Grants Scheme.

The competitive grants, valued at up to $40,000 each, are awarded to top teaching and research staff in the Faculty of Science who are within the first eight years of their academic careers. 

Nine awards were made to Faculty of Science researchers.

For some researchers, this is one of the first significant competitive grant successes in which they have been the lead chief investigators, so is an early career milestone.

Dr Marina Fortes is studying sperm, which are the product of male germ cell differentiation.

“Male germ cell dysfunction can lead to infertility and testicular tumors, the most common cancer in young men,” she said.

“Abnormal DNA structure has been implicated in both infertility and testicular cancer.”

Dr Fortes’ project will define the contribution of non-coding RNA to healthy DNA structure in sperm.

Men’s health, livestock production and species conservation will all benefit from the outcomes of the project.



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