Investigating spermatogonial stem cell allocation in the fetal testis (2018–2020)
Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) of the testis are responsible for generating sperm throughout life. Despite their obvious importance for fertility we still lack a basic understanding of how and when they first arise during testis development. This project aims to determine exactly when and how SSCs are specified, and further, whether a genetic pathway that is used by in vitro stem cells is also employed, in vivo, by testicular stem cells. The project aims to deliver insight into the mechanisms of adult stem cell specification and regulation, in general. Intended practical outcomes of this work will underpin new methods for fertility management in animals (in agriculture and conservation of endangered species) and humans.