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Caroline Allen

My PhD project aims to further our understanding of how chemotherapy agents damage the prepubertal testis.

Caroline Allen

PhD Student - Spiers Lab

  • Hugh Robson Building
  • 15 George Square
  • Edinburgh EH8 9XD

Contact details

Personal Profile

1
  • 2016-Present: Biomedical Sciences (Integrative Physiology) (PhD), University of Edinburgh
  • 2015-2016: MSc (Res) Reproductive Sciences, University of Edinburgh
  • 2010-2014: BSc (Hons) Anatomy, University of Glasgow
  • 2018: Associate Fellow of Higher Education Academy 

Research

My PhD project aims to further our understanding of how chemotherapy agents damage the prepubertal testis in the hope that we can use this knowledge to develop fertility preservation strategies for prepubertal boys undergoing gonadotoxic chemotherapy treatment. I am focusing specifically on the role of oxidative stress in chemotherapy-induced testicular damage and the protective effects of antioxidants.  

Our lab has developed a mouse prepubertal testis culture system that we use to determine the effects of exposure to chemotherapeutic drugs commonly used in paediatric oncology. We examine the tissue through immunofluorescent imaging to determine the overall health of the tissue (for example through use of markers of cell death such as cleaved caspase 3) as well as the numbers of germ and somatic cells that remain after treatment.  

Publications

Allen CM, Lopes F, Mitchell RT, Spears N (2020) Comparative gonadotoxicity of the chemotherapy drugs cisplatin and carboplatin on prepubertal mouse gonads. Molecular Human Reproduction 26: 129-140. doi: 10.1093/molehr/gaaa008.

Allen CM, Lopes F, Mitchell RT, Spears N (2018) How does chemotherapy treatment damage the prepubertal testis? Invited review. Reproduction 156; R209–R223. doi: 10.1530/REP-18-0221.