What are your research interests?
- Ovary and oocyte biology
- Sexual health
- Fertility education
Why did you get into research?
As a young girl, I remember my grandfather taking me on walks through the bush where we’d pull back the bark on old gum trees to see all the hidden creatures underneath. These early childhood adventures sparked my curiosity in the unknown and fostered my love of biology. During my final year at University I accepted a summer scholarship to work on a research project in the Reproductive Science Group. I became captivated watching microscopic sperm attempt the phenomenal feat of trying to fertilize an egg, and I never looked back.
What would be the ultimate goal for your research?
The diagnosis of infertility is rarely terminal. Regardless, losing the choice to have a child remains one of the most challenging life events for anyone to experience, and currently affects 1 in 6 of all Australian couples. My vision is to develop a simple lab-based test to diagnose any woman at risk of premature infertility. My hope is to improve the success of future fertility treatments and ultimately ensure that all women have the choice to have a child.
Dr Jessie Sutherland is extremely passionate about understanding the underlying biological changes that cause infertility and diseases of the reproductive system. She is particularly interested in determining the critical factors responsible for the premature onset of menopause in young women.
For the past decade, Dr Sutherland has worked and studied in the HMRI Pregnancy and Reproductive Program and the PRC in Reproductive Science. Her background in reproduction has evolved from my contribution to research programs across the areas of; ovarian and testis biology, reproductive toxicology, sexual health, infertility, reproductive cancer, and developmental biology. Dr Sutherland's broader research-based experience and knowledge extends to; gene regulation, cell biology, cell signalling pathways, molecular characterisation, proteomics, and transgenic pre-clinical models. She is particularly focused on facilitating the translation of my laboratory-based research program into outcomes that directly impact the health and well-being of the wider community.
The fundamental question driving my research program is: Can we develop and implement lab-based discoveries that directly improve reproductive health of our community? Over the next three years I will focus on my NHMRC Peter Doherty Biomedical Fellowship project to test and validate biomarker-driven diagnostics for quantifying ovary age and oocyte population to improve outcomes for female infertility.
- Ovary explant culture
- Oocyte and pre-implantation embryo manipulation and culture
- QPCR and next generation sequencing
- Primary cell culture
- Ovary follicle encapsulation
- Confocal microscopy
- Ovary and testis histomorphology
ABC Newcastle interview with Kia Handley - 18 June 2019
Dr Jessie Sutherland is an outstanding and passionate early career resesrcher in HMRI's Reprodcution Program. Jessie will use her Equal Futures award to attend Australia's most highly attendned women's leadership program - the National Excellence in Educational Leadership Initiative's 2017 Advanced Leadership Program.
Premature ovarian failure (POF) is the early loss of ovarian function before age 40.