Dr Elizabeth Bromfield

Dr Elizabeth Bromfield

NHMRC Early Career Fellowship

School of Environmental and Life Sciences

Career Summary

Biography

I am an NHMRC CJ Martin Early Career Fellow in the Priority Research Centre for Reproductive Science. My research is primarily focused on discovering how human sperm recognise and interact with the egg to improve in vitro fertilisation outcomes and ensure the health of new individuals.

I completed my PhD under the supervision of Prof. Brett Nixon and L. Prof. John Aitken at The University of Newcastle and was awarded my degree in December, 2015. My doctoral study was dedicated to understanding the mechanisms behind human sperm-egg recognition with a particular focus on investigating the molecules that jeopardise this process in cases of infertility. I have studied this complex biological interaction between the male and female gametes by evaluating the formation and function of important protein complexes at the sperm surface that act as mediators in the interaction between sperm and the egg. Importantly, working with members of the PRC in Reproductive Science, we have discovered a very deleterious role for reactive oxygen species in protein complex function and, as a consequence, we have demonstrated that oxidative stress is a major detriment to fertilisation outcomes in our own species. 

In addition to clarifying the aetiology of male infertility, this work has assisted in the identification and characterisation of molecules that may be used in the development of diagnostic assays for predicting the success of in vitro fertilization. 

My current research areas of interest include:

1. Understanding the role of molecular chaperones in protein complex assembly in gametes

2. Investigating links between in vitro ageing, protein aggregation and molecular chaperone activity in the oocyte

3. Studying the effect of lipid aldehydes on protein quality control in germ cells

4. Examining how germ cells respond to oxidative stress and refining strategies to intervene in the production of reactive oxygen species 


Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Biotechnology, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Biotechnology (Honours), University of Newcastle

Keywords

  • Cell Biology
  • Fertility
  • Molecular chaperones
  • Reproductive Biology

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
060803 Animal Developmental and Reproductive Biology 30
060199 Biochemistry and Cell Biology not elsewhere classified 30
111404 Reproduction 40

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
NHMRC Early Career Fellowship University of Newcastle
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Australia

Awards

Award

Year Award
2016 Faculty of Science & IT Award for Research Excellence
Faculty of Science and Information Technology,The University of Newcastle
2014 Best Oral Presentation
Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
2013 Best poster award
Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Prize

Year Award
2016 Best poster prize
Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR)
2015 Best Overall Oral Presentation
Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR)

Scholarship

Year Award
2014 Travel grant to attend WCRB2014
Society for Reproductive Biology

Teaching

Code Course Role Duration
Biol2001 Laboratory Skills in Biological Sciences
The University of Newcastle
Demonstrator 21/2/2011 - 10/7/2015
Biol2002 Laboratory Skills for Biological Sciences
The University of Newcastle
Lecturer 27/7/2015 - 27/11/2015
Biol3020 Reproductive Physiology
Univeristy of Newcastle
Lecturer 27/7/2015 - 27/11/2015
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Chapter (3 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2020 Nixon B, Bromfield E, 'New Horizons in Male Subfertility and Infertility', Male and Sperm Factors that Maximize IVF Success, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK (2020)
Co-authors Brett Nixon
2018 Nixon B, Bromfield EG, 'Sperm Capacitation', Reference Module in Biomedical Sciences. Encyclopedia of Reproduction, Academic Press, Amsterdam 272-278 (2018)
DOI 10.1016/B978-0-12-801238-3.64464-1
Co-authors Brett Nixon
2017 Nixon B, Bromfield EG, Cui J, De Iuliis GN, 'Heat shock protein A2 (HSPA2): regulatory roles in germ cell development and sperm', The Role of Heat Shock Proteins in Reproductive System Development and Function, Springer International Publishing, Cham, Switzerland 67-93 (2017) [B1]
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-51409-3_4
Citations Scopus - 11Web of Science - 9
Co-authors Brett Nixon, Geoffry DeiuliIs

Journal article (29 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2020 Cafe SL, Nixon B, Dun MD, Roman SD, Bernstein IR, Bromfield EG, 'Oxidative Stress Dysregulates Protein Homeostasis Within the Male Germ Line', ANTIOXIDANTS & REDOX SIGNALING, 32 487-503 (2020)
DOI 10.1089/ars.2019.7832
Citations Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1
Co-authors Shaun Roman, Matt Dun, Brett Nixon
2020 Peters AE, Mihalas BP, Bromfield EG, Roman SD, Nixon B, Sutherland JM, 'Autophagy in Female Fertility: A Role in Oxidative Stress and Aging.', Antioxidants & redox signaling, 32 550-568 (2020)
DOI 10.1089/ars.2019.7986
Co-authors Shaun Roman, Jessie Sutherland, Brett Nixon
2020 Walters JLH, Gadella BM, Sutherland JM, Nixon B, Bromfield EG, 'Male Infertility: Shining a Light on Lipids and Lipid-Modulating Enzymes in the Male Germline', JOURNAL OF CLINICAL MEDICINE, 9 (2020)
DOI 10.3390/jcm9020327
Co-authors Brett Nixon, Jessie Sutherland
2019 Martin JH, Aitken RJ, Bromfield E, Cafe SL, Sutherland JM, Frost ER, et al., 'Investigation into the presence and functional significance of proinsulin C-peptide in the female germline', Biology of Reproduction, 100 1275-1289 (2019) [C1]
DOI 10.1093/biolre/ioz008
Co-authors Jessie Sutherland, Brett Nixon, Tessa Lord, John Aitken
2019 Nixon B, De Iuliis GN, Hart HM, Zhou W, Mathe A, Bernstein IR, et al., 'Proteomic profiling of mouse epididymosomes reveals their contributions to post-testicular sperm maturation', Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, 18 S91-S108 (2019) [C1]
DOI 10.1074/mcp.RA118.000946
Citations Scopus - 10Web of Science - 13
Co-authors Brett Nixon, Muhammad Jamaluddin, Geoffry DeiuliIs, Matt Dun, Andrea Johns, David Skerrett-Byrne
2019 Nixon B, Johnston SD, Skerrett-Byrne DA, Anderson AL, Stanger SJ, Bromfield EG, et al., 'Modification of Crocodile Spermatozoa Refutes the Tenet That Post-testicular Sperm Maturation Is Restricted To Mammals', MOLECULAR & CELLULAR PROTEOMICS, 18 S59-S76 (2019) [C1]
DOI 10.1074/mcp.RA118.000904
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 3
Co-authors Philip Hansbro, David Skerrett-Byrne, Matt Dun, Brett Nixon
2019 Nixon B, Bernstein IR, Cafe SL, Delehedde M, Sergeant N, Anderson AL, et al., 'A Kinase Anchor Protein 4 is vulnerable to oxidative adduction in male germ cells', Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, 7 (2019) [C1]
DOI 10.3389/fcell.2019.00319
Co-authors Brett Nixon, Matt Dun, Andy Eamens, Geoffry DeiuliIs, Tessa Lord
2019 Bromfield E, Dowland SN, Dunleavy JEM, Dunning KR, Holland OJ, Houston BJ, et al., 'Fifty years of reproductive biology in Australia: highlights from the 50th Annual Meeting of the Society for Reproductive Biology (SRB) A-H (2019)
2019 Brown P, Tan A-C, El-Esawi MA, Liehr T, Blanck O, Gladue DP, et al., 'Large expert-curated database for benchmarking document similarity detection in biomedical literature search', DATABASE-THE JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL DATABASES AND CURATION, (2019)
DOI 10.1093/database/baz085
Co-authors Brett Nixon
2019 Bromfield E, Walters JLH, Cafe S, Bernstein I, Stanger SR, Anderson AL, et al., 'Differential cell death decisions in the testis: evidence for an exclusive window of ferroptosis in round spermatids', Molecular Human Reproduction, 25 241-256 (2019) [C1]
DOI 10.1093/molehr/gaz015
Citations Scopus - 3Web of Science - 4
Co-authors John Aitken, Matt Dun, Eileen Mclaughlin, Brett Nixon
2019 Martin JH, Aitken RJ, Bromfield EG, Nixon B, 'DNA damage and repair in the female germline: contributions to ART.', Human Reproduction Update, 25 180-201 (2019) [C1]
DOI 10.1093/humupd/dmy040
Citations Scopus - 4Web of Science - 5
Co-authors John Aitken, Brett Nixon
2018 Martin J, Bromfield EG, Aitken RJ, Lord T, Nixon B, 'Double Strand Break DNA Repair occurs via Non-Homologous End-Joining in Mouse MII Oocytes', Scientific Reports, 8 1-15 (2018) [C1]
DOI 10.1038/s41598-018-27892-2.
Citations Scopus - 5Web of Science - 6
Co-authors Brett Nixon, Tessa Lord, John Aitken
2018 Walters JLH, De Iuliis G, Nixon B, Bromfield EG, 'Oxidative Stress in the Male Germline: A Review of Novel Strategies to Reduce 4-Hydroxynonenal Production', Antioxidants, 7 (2018) [C1]
DOI 10.3390/antiox7100132
Citations Scopus - 5Web of Science - 5
Co-authors Geoffry DeiuliIs, Brett Nixon
2018 Walters JLH, De Iuliis GN, Dun MD, Aitken RJ, McLaughlin EA, Nixon B, Bromfield EG, 'Pharmacological inhibition of arachidonate 15-lipoxygenase protects human spermatozoa against oxidative stress.', Biology of reproduction, 98 784-794 (2018) [C1]
DOI 10.1093/biolre/ioy058
Citations Scopus - 7Web of Science - 8
Co-authors Geoffry DeiuliIs, Matt Dun, John Aitken, Brett Nixon, Eileen Mclaughlin
2018 Bertoldo MJ, Andraweera PH, Bromfield EG, Cousins FL, Lindsay LA, Paiva P, et al., 'Recent and emerging reproductive biology research in Australia and New Zealand: highlights from the Society for Reproductive Biology Annual Meeting, 2017', REPRODUCTION FERTILITY AND DEVELOPMENT, 30 1049-1054 (2018)
DOI 10.1071/RD17445
Citations Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1
2018 Mihalas BP, Bromfield EG, Sutherland JM, De Iuliis GN, McLaughlin EA, John Aitken R, Nixon B, 'Oxidative damage in naturally aged mouse oocytes is exacerbated by dysregulation of proteasomal activity', Journal of Biological Chemistry, 293 18944-18964 (2018) [C1]
DOI 10.1074/jbc.RA118.005751
Citations Scopus - 9Web of Science - 10
Co-authors Brett Nixon, Jessie Sutherland, John Aitken, Eileen Mclaughlin, Geoffry DeiuliIs
2018 Houston BJ, Nixon B, Martin JH, De Iuliis GN, Trigg NA, Bromfield EG, et al., 'Heat exposure induces oxidative stress and DNA damage in the male germ line', BIOLOGY OF REPRODUCTION, 98 593-606 (2018) [C1]
DOI 10.1093/biolre/ioy009
Citations Scopus - 18Web of Science - 14
Co-authors Geoffry DeiuliIs, Brett Nixon, John Aitken
2017 Bromfield EG, Aitken RJ, McLaughlin EA, Nixon B, 'Proteolytic degradation of heat shock protein A2 occurs in response to oxidative stress in male germ cells of the mouse', MOLECULAR HUMAN REPRODUCTION, 23 91-105 (2017) [C1]
DOI 10.1093/molehr/gaw074
Citations Scopus - 15Web of Science - 12
Co-authors John Aitken, Brett Nixon, Eileen Mclaughlin
2017 Bromfield EG, Mihalas BP, Dun MD, Aitken RJ, McLaughlin EA, Walters JLH, Nixon B, 'Inhibition of arachidonate 15-lipoxygenase prevents 4-hydroxynonenal-induced proteindamage in male germ cells', Biology of Reproduction, 96 598-609 (2017) [C1]
DOI 10.1093/biolre/iox005
Citations Scopus - 10Web of Science - 11
Co-authors Eileen Mclaughlin, John Aitken, Matt Dun, Brett Nixon
2017 Martin JH, Bromfield EG, Aitken RJ, Nixon B, 'Biochemical alterations in the oocyte in support of early embryonic development', CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR LIFE SCIENCES, 74 469-485 (2017) [C1]
DOI 10.1007/s00018-016-2356-1
Citations Scopus - 7Web of Science - 6
Co-authors John Aitken, Brett Nixon
2016 Martin JH, Bromfield EG, Aitken RJ, Lord T, Nixon B, 'Data on the concentrations of etoposide, PSC833, BAPTA-AM, and cycloheximide that do not compromise the vitality of mature mouse oocytes, parthenogenetically activated and fertilized embryos', DATA IN BRIEF, 8 1215-1220 (2016)
DOI 10.1016/j.dib.2016.07.046
Citations Scopus - 4Web of Science - 4
Co-authors Brett Nixon, Tessa Lord, John Aitken
2016 Bromfield EG, McLaughlin EA, Aitken RJ, Nixon B, 'Heat shock protein member A2 forms a stable complex with angiotensin convertingenzymeand protein disulfide isomerase A6 in human spermatozoa', Molecular Human Reproduction, 22 93-109 (2016) [C1]
DOI 10.1093/molehr/gav073
Citations Scopus - 17Web of Science - 14
Co-authors Eileen Mclaughlin, Brett Nixon, John Aitken
2016 Martin JH, Nixon B, Lord T, Bromfield EG, Aitken RJ, 'Identification of a key role for permeability glycoprotein in enhancing the cellular defense mechanisms of fertilized oocytes', DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY, 417 63-76 (2016) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.ydbio.2016.06.035
Citations Scopus - 12Web of Science - 11
Co-authors John Aitken, Brett Nixon, Tessa Lord
2015 Bromfield E, Aitken RJ, Nixon B, 'Novel characterization of the HSPA2-stabilizing protein BAG6 in human spermatozoa', Molecular Human Reproduction, 21 755-769 (2015) [C1]

© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved. While a large cohort of sperm ... [more]

© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved. While a large cohort of sperm surface receptors underpin sperm-oocyte adhesion processes, our recent work has revealed that the molecular chaperone Heat Shock Protein A2 (HSPA2) is a key regulator of zona pellucida-receptor complex assembly in our own species. Indeed, in the infertile population, spermatozoa that fail to interact with the zona pellucida of the oocyte consistently lack HSPA2 protein expression. While the mechanisms behind this protein deficiency are under consideration, BCL2-associated athanogene 6 (BAG6) has been identified as a key regulator of HSPA2 stability in mouse germ cells. However, in the human, the presence of BAG family proteins remains completely uncharacterized. Consequently, this study aimed to determine the presence of BAG6 in human sperm cells and to characterize its putative interaction with HSPA2 throughout sperm cell development. BAG6 was shown to co-localize with HSPA2 in human testicular germ cells and epididymal spermatozoa. Similarly, BAG6 was identified in the equatorial region of non-capacitated spermatozoa but underwent a marked relocation to the anterior region of the head upon the induction of capacitation in these cells. Protein-protein interaction assays revealed the stable interaction of BAG6 and HSPA2 proteins in mature spermatozoa. Furthermore, examination of the spermatozoa of infertile men with zona pellucida binding defects, related to a lack of HSPA2, revealed a concomitant deficiency in BAG6 protein expression. In view of the findings described in this study, we propose that BAG6 is likely a key regulator of HSPA2 stability/function in human germ cells. Moreover, its under-representation in spermatozoa with zona pellucida binding deficiency suggests that BAG6 may be an important candidate to study for a further understanding of male idiopathic infertility.

DOI 10.1093/molehr/gav041
Citations Scopus - 20Web of Science - 15
Co-authors Brett Nixon, John Aitken
2015 Bromfield EG, Aitken RJ, Anderson AL, McLaughlin EA, Nixon B, 'The impact of oxidative stress on chaperone-mediated human sperm-egg interaction.', Hum Reprod, 30 2597-2613 (2015) [C1]
DOI 10.1093/humrep/dev214
Citations Scopus - 40Web of Science - 38
Co-authors Eileen Mclaughlin, Brett Nixon, John Aitken
2015 Nixon B, Bromfield EG, Dun MD, Redgrove KA, McLaughlin EA, Aitken RJ, 'The role of the molecular chaperone heat shock protein A2 (HSPA2) in regulating human sperm-egg recognition', ASIAN JOURNAL OF ANDROLOGY, 17 568-573 (2015) [C1]
DOI 10.4103/1008-682X.151395
Citations Scopus - 31Web of Science - 25
Co-authors John Aitken, Matt Dun, Brett Nixon, Eileen Mclaughlin, Kate Redgrove
2014 Bromfield EG, Aitken RJ, Gibb Z, Lambourne SR, Nixon B, 'Capacitation in the presence of methyl-beta-cyclodextrin results in enhanced zona pellucida-binding ability of stallion spermatozoa', REPRODUCTION, 147 153-166 (2014) [C1]
DOI 10.1530/REP-13-0393
Citations Scopus - 28Web of Science - 27
Co-authors Zamira Gibb, John Aitken, Brett Nixon
2013 Bromfield EG, Nixon B, 'The function of chaperone proteins in the assemblage of protein complexes involved in gamete adhesion and fusion processes', Reproduction, 145 R31-R42 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1530/REP-12-0316
Citations Scopus - 29Web of Science - 25
Co-authors Brett Nixon
2012 Dun MD, Anderson AL, Bromfield EG, Asquith KL, Emmett BJ, McLaughlin EA, et al., 'Investigation of the expression and functional significance of the novel mouse sperm protein, a disintegrin and metalloprotease with thrombospondin type 1 motifs number 10 (ADAMTS10)', International Journal of Andrology, 35 572-589 (2012) [C1]
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2605.2011.01235.x
Citations Scopus - 21Web of Science - 17
Co-authors Brett Nixon, Eileen Mclaughlin, Kelly Asquith, Matt Dun, John Aitken
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed1
Current5

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2020 PhD Exploring ALOX15 as a Molecular Conduit between Infertility and Systemic Ill Health in Men PhD (Biological Sciences), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle Principal Supervisor
2020 PhD Novel Roles for Seminal Fluid Extracellular Vesicles PhD (Biological Sciences), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2019 PhD Exploring Protein Aggregation in the Male Germ Line in Response to Oxidative Stress PhD (Biological Sciences), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle Principal Supervisor
2019 PhD The Role of Autophagy in Oocyte Development and Ageing PhD (Medical Biochemistry), Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2017 PhD Regulation of Sperm Function and Oxidative Stress by Lipoxygenase Enzymes PhD (Biological Sciences), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle Principal Supervisor

Past Supervision

Year Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2019 PhD Quality Control Mechanisms Responsible for the Maintenance of Genomic Integrity in the Female Germline PhD (Biological Sciences), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
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Research Collaborations

The map is a representation of a researchers co-authorship with collaborators across the globe. The map displays the number of publications against a country, where there is at least one co-author based in that country. Data is sourced from the University of Newcastle research publication management system (NURO) and may not fully represent the authors complete body of work.

Country Count of Publications
Australia 32
New Zealand 7
Netherlands 6
United States 3
Denmark 2
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News

UON researchers shine in 2017 NHMRC funding

October 11, 2017

University of Newcastle researchers have secured more than $6 million in the latest round of National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding

UON researchers scoop reproductive biology awards

September 1, 2016

Research recognition at Reproductive Biology Conference, The University of Newcastle, Australia

Dr Elizabeth Bromfield

Position

NHMRC Early Career Fellowship
PRC Reproductive Science
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Faculty of Science

Contact Details

Email elizabeth.bromfield@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 492 16267
Link Research Networks

Office

Building Life Science Building
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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