Professor Peter Koopman
Disorders of sex development, infertility and testicular cancer
Our research focuses on genes that regulate sex development—the molecular process that determines whether an embryo develops as a male or a female—and finding how problems with these genes can cause intersex, infertility and testicular cancer.
We are studying SRY, the Y-chromosome maleness gene, and how it controls the genetic and cellular events leading to testis development and male sex determination. We also use molecular genetics tools to identify other sex development genes and to study how these affect sex development, using transgenic and gene-knockout mice to answer questions about gene function. Ultimately, we hope this research will help us to better understand the causes of human disorders of sex development, which affect up to 1 in every 250 children born each year, so that these disorders can be diagnosed more accurately and managed more effectively.
More broadly, the study of embryo development provides insight into mechanisms of disease, including cancer, and provides a molecular and cellular basis for new molecular diagnostics and targeted therapies.
Professor Koopman has recently launched a new online community resource, available at www.dsdgenetics.org, to help improve understanding of Disorders of Sexual Development (DSD) by providing up-to-date scientific information.
This DSD resource was created in collaboration with researchers from IMB, Prince Henry's Institute and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute to help share findings from their NHMRC-funded research into the genes involved in typical and atypical sexual development.
Research in the news
6 September1 2013 - 'Unpacking' enzyme lets boys be boys, ABC Science
2007 - GlaxoSmithKline Australia Award for Research Excellence - winner video
Research training opportunities
Please visit IMB's postgraduate website for more information.
Zhao, L., Ting Ng, E., Davidon, E., Longmuss, E., Urschitz, J., Elston, M., Moisyadi, S., Bowles, J., and Koopman, P. (2014) Structure–function analysis of mouse Sry reveals dual essential roles of the C-terminal polyglutamine tract in sex determination. PNAS 111(32):11768-73.
Bowles, J., Feng, C-W., Spiller, C., Davidson, T-L., Jackson, A., and Koopman, P. (2010). FGF9 suppresses meiosis and promotes male germ cell fate in mice. Developmental Cell 19: 440-449.
François, M., Caprini, A., Hosking, B., Orsenigo, F., Wilhelm, D., Browne, C., Paavonen, K., Karnezis, T., Shayan, R., Downes, M., Davidson, T., Tutt, D., Cheah, K.S.E., Chan, M., Stacker, S.A., Muscat, G.E.O., Achen, M.G., Dejana, E., and Koopman, P. (2008). SOX18 initiates lymphatic development in mice. Nature 456: 643-647.
Bowles, J., Knight, D., Smith, C., Wilhelm, D., Richman, J., Mamiya, S., Yashiro, K., Chawengsaksophak, K., Wilson, M.J., Rossant, J., Hamada, H., and Koopman, P. (2006). Retinoid signaling determines germ cell fate in mice. Science 312: 596–600.
Wilhelm, D., and Koopman, P. (2006). The makings of maleness: Towards an integrated view of male sexual development. Nature Reviews Genetics 7: 620-631.
|Professor Peter Koopman
+61 7 334 62059
||Dr Liang Zhao
+61 7 334 62061
+61 7 334 62344
|Dr Johnny Huang
+61 7 334 62061
Ms Enya Longmuss
|Ms Ee Ting Ng
+61 7 334 62344
+61 7 334 62348