Dr Shaun Roman

Research Program:
Research Topics:
Project Grant
2010 Project Grant
Project Grant
2005 Project Grant

What are your research interests?

  • Effect of chemicals consumed on the quality of the DNA in sperm
  • The developmental program involved in sperm production
  • How sperm package their DNA.

Why did you get into research?

I have always been interested in how cells work individually and as a group - when and how changes occur and what triggers a response. These fundamental questions piqued my curiosity many years (decades) ago and I am still curious.

What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

To provide advice to couples on limiting exposure to compounds to assist in fertility and if necessary to provide counteracting agents to the detrimental things people consume.


Dr Roman is a member of the Reproductive Science group at the University of Newcastle and leads an original research program that is focused on understanding Male Germ Cell Development. This personal niche complements existing research programs in male germ function and ovarian biology within the group.  

Male germ cell development represents a strategically important subprogram of the UON's Priority Research Centre for Reproductive Science and chemical targeting of these cells is an equally important subprogram of the PRC for Chemical Biology.

Dr Roman's team is also currently addressing the detrimental affect of acrylamide (consumed in food) on male germ cells. They are examining both the consequences of damaging the male germ line and also finding ways to alleviate these effects. Dr Roman also contributes significant expertise in molecular biology to all programs within the Reproductive Science Group.  

In total Dr Roman has published 2 book chapters and 33 peer-reviewed journal articles. He has been a Chief Investigator on over $17 million of competitive research income and $1.5 million of equipment grants. Along with Laureate Professor John Aitken and Professor Eileen McLaughlin, Dr Roman holds a patent for the tools for germ cell ablation. He has supervised 11 research higher degree (PhD and Masters) students and 17 Honours students. His students have won awards for their presentations, including at international conferences, and several have been awarded prestigious University or Faculty medals.

Specialised/Technical Skills

My group has a pipeline whereby we can examine a compound's affect on an enzyme or isolated male sperm precursor cells. We have unique models for both acute and chronic exposure to detrimental compounds and the tools to asses the consequences. We can therefore take a compound through to long-term studies mimicking human exposure. 


  • PRC for Reproductive Science and PRC for Chemical Biology.
  • Member of Society for Reproductive Biology,
  • Member of the Australian Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Member of the Australian Society for Medical Research


Identiftying vulnerable sites in the male genome
Project Grant


Gene profiling of the detoxifying enzymes present in the males herm line
Project Grant