Alen Pasalic

Alen Pasalic

Degree

Honours student

Area of study

Endocrinology and Immunophysiology

Year of enrolment

2018

Why did you choose Hudson Institute and your research group?

Prior to this degree, I completed my Graduate Diploma in Reproductive Sciences at Monash Medical Centre. Throughout this degree, we met researchers from Hudson Institute who discussed their work and I was incredibly fascinated by it. This, paired with the facilities available within Hudson Institute, made me want to conduct research within the Institute. As for this specific research group, in 2017, my research project was based on oocytes and their developmental competence in hyperandrogenic conditions. I developed a strong interest in research into the female reproductive tract and therefore wanted to explore the male side of reproduction. Associate Professor Mark Hedger's group seemed the most appropriate choice as he is a prolific researcher within the male reproductive health community.

What is your research about and what do you hope to achieve?

My research is looking at the characterisation of a model of murine epididymo-orchitis. The research builds on findings from Nicolas N et al. in 2016, where murine testes samples were analysed and treated with Follistatin (an activin inhibitor) to determine whether it carried any therapeutic benefits. My research is analysing the epididymes of these samples to identify changes that occured based on this treatment.

What is it like being a student at Hudson Institute?

Although I'm still in the preliminary stages of my honours year, I'm really enjoying myself. I have learned so much in the space of weeks and staff within my department are putting in a lot of effort to make sure I am able to learn and thrive in my honours year. Furthermore, I am enjoying the independence provided to me this year; the research I am conducting is not only completely at my own pace, but it is driven by me (with guidance). So far, it's providing me with great insight into what a career in research would look like.

What opportunities have you had at Hudson Institute?

I have been provided with a better insight into what a career in research looks like, as well as an opportunity to further develop my academic palate through conferences, meetings, networking and resources.

How will your research help others?

Understanding the underlying immunity of the male reproductive tract, specifically the epididymis, will allow us to develop the most effective therapeutic targets to ensure male fertility is preserved in the presence of orchitis.