student profile: Miss Naomi Bernecic


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Thesis work

Thesis title: Identifying the regulatory mechanisms underlying cholesterol efflux from the sperm plasma membrane during capacitation

Supervisors: Simon DE GRAAF , Tamara LEAHY , Barend GADELLA

Thesis abstract:

Following ejaculation and exposure to the female reproductive tract, spermatozoa undergo the process of capacitation, an essential maturation step involving a series of intensely regulated mechanisms. The loss of cholesterol from the sperm plasma membrane is one such mechanism that occurs during capacitation and is required for successful oocyte binding and fertilisation. This current project aims to identify specific components implicated in cholesterol loss from ram spermatozoa and investigate their function in relation to the outcome of fertilisation.

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