How do paternal experiences impact offspring behaviour, physiology and reproductive fitness?

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
Number of Master Places Available
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Terence Pang
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof David Gardner

Summary My group is interested in the pathogenesis of psychiatric disorders, particularly stress-linked conditions such as anxiety disorder and major depression. We discovered that exposure of the paternal generation to stress can yield transgenerational effects on offspring behaviour and physical health. Our research takes a multidisciplinary approach by combining rodent behavioural studies, gene expression profiling of brain tissue, blood hormone assays, and screening of male reproductive health parameters.

Project Details

The negative impacts of trauma on the mental health and physical well-being of individuals are well-described. Surprisingly, little is understood of how stress regulates male reproductive health. Recent epidemiological studies have reported learning deficits and mood-related behavioural problems in children born to parents with a history of war-related trauma. The biological mechanisms underlying this intergenerational effect of parental trauma is unknown. This cross-disciplinary project aims to discover how traumatic stress affects male reproductive health, focussing on early life trauma exposure. Using rodent models of traumatic stress of varying chronicity, students will have the opportunity to investigate how offspring behavioural phenotypes are influenced by paternal history of trauma. That is linked to studies of sperm health and male fertility, as well as early embryonic development. Students will be trained in rodent behavioural testing, performing anatomical dissections, and RNA/DNA isolation techniques for gene expression profiling studies. There is also opportunity to engaged in morphological and histological studies of embryos and reproductive organs. This project is ideal for an individual looking for a diverse research experience in behavioural neuroscience and reproductive biology.

Research Opportunities

PhD students, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

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