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With the Beatles – BC-ISMRM 2017

Posted on October 6th 2017 in Blog, Events, News, Research

On the 11-13th of September, Steven, Nurul and Taryn (MSc. student) attended The British Chapter of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (fortunately abbreviated to BC-ISMRM) conference at the University of Liverpool in order to present their work. Here they all presented posters and flash talks – a talk lasting only 2 minutes!

The SpermNMR group is expanding its research to examine testicular structure using MRI. Steven presented a protocol to analysis the internal structure of the testis. By using this procedure, we managed to improve the visibility of the testicular tubules, where sperm production starts, compared to other tissues types within the testis. This might help in finding the cause for the lack of sperm production for men who have no sperm in their ejaculate, a condition known as azoospermia.

Nurul presented her research about the effect of hypoxia (the low oxygen level) on sperm energy production.  Oxygen levels vary within the female reproductive system and are usually much lower than amount found in the air we breathe. She found that, compared to the normal oxygen environment, sperm produced energy more actively hypoxic environment.

Taryn conducted a six month research project as part of the spermNMR group during her Reproductive and Developmental Medicine MSc course. Her project proposed that over time sperm altered the concentration of metabolites present in semen depending on their motility (movement). She found that the energy molecule lactate increased at a faster rate in high motility sperm than lower motility sperm.

Our 3-day conference was packed with educational sessions, but the hall filled with laughter especially during QA session – the chairman choose a person to ask a question by blindly throwing sweets into the audience. We were well prepared to ask questions.