I am a PhD student in the Academic Unit of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine at the University of Sheffield. I am investigating live human sperm metabolism in the female reproductive tract using 13C Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS). My role is to perform density gradient centrifugation on donated samples, incubate them with substrates found in the female reproductive tract and then perform MRS analysis.
I have an undergraduate degree in Human Biology from Sheffield Hallam University and a master’s degree in Reproductive and Developmental Medicine from the University of Sheffield. As part of my MSc, I did a six month research project looking at the importance of female reproductive tract metabolites for sperm metabolism and motility and I am continuing this research as part of my PhD.
In my spare time I enjoy playing the piano and swimming.
Allan Pacey (founding member)
I am Professor of Andrology at the University of Sheffield School of Medicine and Biomedical Science, Department of Oncology and Metabolism as well as the Head of Andrology for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. My research interests include understanding aspects of male infertility and this includes laboratory projects investigating the basic biology of human sperm to large epidemiological studies. I am currently the chairman of the Steering Group for the UK National External Quality Assurance Scheme for Andrology and the Editor in Chief of the BFS journal Human Fertility. Between 2005 and 2010 I served as Honorary Secretary of the British Fertility Society and from 2012 to 2015 was the Chairman. In addition by my science and clinical work, I regularly provide comment to the media on current news stories in infertility and assisted conception. I have also made several TV programmes including Britain’s Secret Code Breaker (2011), Donor Unknown (2011), The Great Sperm Race (2009), The Truth About Food (2007), Make me a Baby (2007) and Lab Rats (2004). In the 2016 New Year’s Honours list, I was awarded an MBE for Services to Reproductive Medicine.
You can follow my general musings about science, sperm, male fertility and the life of an academic at www.twitter.com/allanpacey.
My University of Sheffield webpage is www.shef.ac.uk/humanmetabolism/people/pacey.
Steven Reynolds (founding member)
I am research fellow and founding member of the spermNMR group. I have been working on sperm research since 2015. My main research interest is in the use of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy to study cellular metabolism and metabolomics. I have other research interests in understanding the metabolic triggers of preterm birth. I also manage the 9.4T magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging facility at the University of Sheffield.
I design and perform many of the experiments in our group. Once the sperm sample has been prepared I will select the type of experiment that our MRS scanner will perform – proton or carbon detection – to obtain a spectrum. After the MRS experiment has completed I will analyse the spectrum along with the rest of our data.
I have a degree in chemistry from Aston University, where I also received my PhD in Magnetic Resonance of Solids. I have held research positions at the University of Surrey, studying transformer oils, and the University of Cambridge providing MRS support for the PDH protein research group. I spent 8 years in industry, firstly at GE developing scientific instruments. As an applications scientist at Oxford instruments I was the team leader for HyperSense Magnetic Resonance applications group, with other colleagues based in USA and Japan facilities. Here, I developed an interest in hyperpolarised magnetic resonance experiments and metabolism. In addition to SPERM project I like to work on new hardware for our MRS facility.
I have been a practitioner of Shotokan karate for a number of years and teach at my local club. I also like to do gardening, although my planting is experimental.
Sarah Calvert (founding member)
I’m the lab based biologist in the team and from time to time I may also help to consent patients to the study. After a sample has been donated I will separate out the fast moving and slow moving sperm and set up the tubes for the analysis done on the MRS machine.
My first degree was in Human Biology at the University of Birmingham where I also did a year in industry. I then moved to the University of Manchester and did a PhD looking at how the cell biology of the placenta affected pregnancy diseases. During my PhD I was lucky enough to spend some time with another lab based at Washington University Medical School in St. Louis, USA.
In my spare time I’m a bit of a foodie and I enjoy cooking and trying new food and drink. To balance that out I also play badminton and cycle.
Nurul Fadhlina Binti Ismail
I am a Phd student in Immunity, Infection and Cardiovascular science department, University of Sheffield. My research is about monitoring the sperm metabolism by using the Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) and correcting the motion artefact in the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) image. I am from Malaysia and I have been sponsored by the Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia. I was graduated from University Sains Malaysia in radiation Science. I used to work as a radiographer for one year in the hospital at Malaysia. Recently, I work as a lecturer assistant in University Sultan Zainal Abidin, Terengganu.
In my spare time, I like to watch comedy show and also sightseeing.
I’m a physiologist and have worked with functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) since 2009. My role is to help on the MRI side of things, and I may also contribute to developing oxygenation methods for our samples.
I have a degree in biology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and a D.Phil. in cardiorespiratory physiology from the University of Oxford. I’ve previously worked at the University of Oxford’s department of clinical neuroscience, using MRI to investigate respiratory perception and symptoms in respiratory disease, and at Oxford Brookes University, looking at respiration-related confounds in neuroimaging. I have also spent some time in industry, as a senior scientist working on contract neuroscience research.
When I’m not at work, I play the piano, guitar and bass guitar, and I am a keen amateur photographer.
Martyn Paley (founding member)
I am an emeritus Professor of BioMedical Imaging in Academic Radiology. I have been involved with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy (MRI/S) for over forty years since 1973 when I studied Physics as both an undergraduate and postgraduate at Nottingham University, where MRI was invented. I have worked in industry for a number of companies in physics and engineering research including Rolls-Royce Aero-Engines (Combustion Engineering), Kodak (Colour Physics) and Picker International (MRI/S) in both the UK and the USA where I helped develop the first ever commercial MRI scanners during the 1980’s.
I left industry for academia in 1991, establishing an MR physics research group at University College London to investigate Neurological MR Imaging and Spectroscopy as well as development of Interventional MRI. I joined the University of Sheffield in 1997 and have been involved in setting up Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy (MRI/S) research in a wide range of topics from advanced functional MRI to neonatal and in-utero imaging and hyperpolarised gas and fluid enhanced MRI/S. I have a major interest in MR physics and engineering and have developed complete specialised MR scanners including all hardware, software and imaging sequences for orthopaedic and neonatal imaging which have been successfully commercialised. My involvement in the SPERM project is to advise on use of MR and analysis methods and help develop new methods for acquiring data rapidly.
In my spare time I play bass guitar in rock and blues bands and grow chillies. www.sheffield.ac.uk/iicd/profiles/paley