Centre for Reproductive Health

Centre Head

Hudson Institute of Medical Research is internationally recognised for its outstanding research into reproduction, which spans more than 40 years. The Centre for Reproductive Health’s current reproductive health research program is strongly based in both basic and translational science. Reproductive Health is now a key global challenge, with impacts of the environment and changes in societies strongly impacting not only on both male and female reproduction but also on the long-term health of their offspring. The latter detrimental changes are established both in the sperm and egg, and during early development of the conceptus.

With a rapidly increasing world population, the need for new contraceptive options has never been greater. Furthermore, translation of advances in reproductive sciences also impacts on cancer biology, animal food production, and conservation of endangered species. In addition, proteins involved in the regulation of reproduction also have wider actions influencing inflammation and tissue repair in a wide variety of organs.

The German Research Foundation renews funding of a key alliance between Monash University and Justus-Liebig University in Germany – May 2017

Key areas of research 

  • Spermatogenesis and Cell Signalling: Identification of the molecular processes that form and maintain spermatogonial stem cells, and transform them into healthy spermatozoa; testicular cancer development in young men; somatic cell supporting signals that sustain normal testis growth.
  • Uterine Biology: three teams undertaking highly complementary work on uterine receptivity, implantation and placentation, endometrial cancer, and contraceptive development. Individual team focus:
    • Endometrial Remodelling  The intrauterine microenvironment of implantation;  endometrial repair: embryo-maternal interactions via exosomes, tests for endometrial receptivity
    • Embryo Implantation  Embryo-maternal interactions: miRNA and embryo factors;  placental development; endometrial cancer
    • Implantation and Placentation  Molecular changes during placentation; pre-eclampsia; post-translational changes during implantation and placentation
  • Ovarian Biology: Mechanisms that control egg supply and health during ovarian development and throughout reproductive life.  Strategies for preservation of fertility during chemotherapy and radiation treatment
  • Gonadal Development: Genetic mechanisms underlying testis and ovary formation in the embryo, to improve diagnosis of disorders of sex development (DSD)
  • Male Reproductive Immunology: Understanding immune privilege in reproductive tissues;   roles of ‘reproductive hormones’  inhibins, activins and follistatin in the control of inflammation and tissue repair;  lymphocytes and macrophages in male reproductive function
  • Spermatozoal Development: Potential sites of action of male contraception: hormonal regulation of  Sertoli cell junctions; minimally invasive diagnostic testing for testicular function