Dr Elizabeth Bromfield
Dr Elizabeth Bromfield is an NHMRC CJ Martin Early Career Fellow working between The University of Newcastle and Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Elizabeth completed her PhD at The University of Newcastle in 2015, focusing on the characterisation of sperm-oocyte receptor complexes that facilitate sperm-egg recognition processes. Working in this area, she has contributed to the development of two novel techniques for the analysis of human sperm protein interactions that are now used globally. During her postdoctoral training, she completed a posting in the laboratory of Assoc. Prof, Heath Ecroyd at The University of Wollongong, an expert in protein misfolding disorders associated with neurodegeneration, and completed advanced training in Developmental Biology, Stem Cells and Cancer at Cold Spring Harbour Laboratories, in Long Island, USA. Working closely with Prof. Brett Nixon, Prof. Eileen McLaughlin and L. Prof. John Aitken at The University of Newcastle, she has established that the assembly of sperm-egg receptor complexes is readily compromised by reactive oxygen species, resulting in failed sperm-egg interaction. These findings provide a long-sought after explanation for how oxidative stress detrimentally impacts fertilisation in our own species. Since the completion of her PhD, Elizabeth has developed a new area of study within the PRC for Reproductive Science, focusing on changes in protein homeostasis in the male germline. This work has led to an enhanced understanding of the mechanisms behind germ cell decline and provides fundamental leads towards the development of novel preventative strategies for oxidative stress-induced male infertility.