Monash University
Member Details

Prof. Moira O’Bryan
Head, Male Infertility and Germ Cell Biology Laboratory
Head of the School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Science
25 Rainforest Walk
Monash University, 3800

T: +61 3 99055650

Team Members
  • Robert McLachlan –  Hudson Institute of Medical Research and Director of Andrology Australia
  • Richard Burke – Senior Lecturer in Genetics and Head of Burke Research Group at Monash University
  • Brendan Houston – Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Germ Cell Biology Laboratory at Monash University
  • Lachlan Cauchi – PhD student in the Germ Cell Biology Laboratory and Burke Research Group at Monash University
Working Group: Lead of the functional validation working group

The functional validation working group aims to definitively prove the link between SNVs identified via the sequencing pipelines and their role in male infertility. In doing so we hope to improve the diagnostic utility of infertility tests developed through the consortium, but to also open up avenues for research into the essential mechanisms required for male fertility.

Member Description

Prof. Moira O’Bryan is a reproductive biologist with expertise in the are fundamental mechanism required to produce fertile sperm, the causes of male infertility and sperm structure-function as a driver of evolution. Areas of particular emphasis include the mechanisms of sperm head shaping and cilia/flagger development and function, genetic causes of human infertility, the importance of epigenetic regulation in male fertility and transgeneration health, and the connection between male fertility and overall health – a concept often referred to as ‘the canary in the coalmine hypothesis’. To achieve these aims, her laboratory uses a range of animal and cell models, high end imaging technologies and suites of biochemical and cell biology approaches.

Prof. O’Bryan is the Head of the School of Biology Sciences at Monash University. Prior to this role she was the Deputy Director and the head of the Development and Stem Cells Program of the Biomedicine Discovery Institute, also at Monash University. She currently sits on the editorial boards of Molecular Human Reproduction, Andrology and PLOS Genetics. She, along with Prof. Rob McLachlan from the Hudson Institute of Medical Research, run the Monash Male Infertility Repository.


Dunleavy JEM, Okuda H, O’Connor AE, Merriner DJ, O’Donnell L, Jamsai D, Bergmann M, O’Bryan MK. Katanin-like 2 (KATNAL2) functions in multiple aspects of haploid male germ cell development in the mouse. PLoS Genet. 2017 Nov 14;13(11):e1007078.



Lim SL, Qu ZP, Kortschak RD, Lawrence DM, Geoghegan J, Hempfling AL, Bergmann M, Goodnow CC, Ormandy CJ, Wong L, Mann J, Scott HS, Jamsai D, Adelson DL, O’Bryan MK. HENMT1 and piRNA Stability Are Required for Adult Male Germ Cell Transposon Repression and to Define the Spermatogenic Program in the Mouse. PLoS Genet. 2015 Oct 23;11(10):e1005620. Erratum in: PLoS Genet. 2015 Dec;11(12):e1005782.




Liu Y, DeBoer K, de Kretser DM, O’Donnell L, O’Connor AE, Merriner DJ, Okuda H, Whittle B, Jans DA, Efthymiadis A, McLachlan RI, Ormandy CJ, Goodnow CC, Jamsai D, O’Bryan MK. LRGUK-1 is required for basal body and manchette function during spermatogenesis and male fertility. PLoS Genet. 2015 Mar 17;11(3):e1005090.




O’Bryan MK, Clark BJ, McLaughlin EA, D’Sylva RJ, O’Donnell L, Wilce JA, Sutherland J, O’Connor AE, Whittle B, Goodnow CC, Ormandy CJ, Jamsai D. RBM5 is a male germ cell splicing factor and is required for spermatid differentiation and male fertility. PLoS Genet. 2013;9(7):e1003628.




Lo JC, Jamsai D, O’Connor AE, Borg C, Clark BJ, Whisstock JC, Field MC, Adams V, Ishikawa T, Aitken RJ, Whittle B, Goodnow CC, Ormandy CJ, O’Bryan MK. RAB-like 2 has an essential role in male fertility, sperm intra-flagellar transport, and tail assembly. PLoS Genet. 2012;8(10):e1002969.

S.R. Catford, R.I. McLachlan, M.K. O’Bryan, J.L. Halliday.  Long-term follow-ip of intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection-conceived offspring compared with in vitro fertilization-conceived offspring: a systematic review of health outcomes beyond the neonatal period. Andrology. 2017 Jul;5(4):610-621.


2018-2020 ARC Discovery Project. Mechanisms of manchette function. CI: Moira O’Bryan. DP180100533.

2018-2020 NHMRC Project Grant. Microtubule severing: a role in mammalian oocyte and embryo viability? CIs: John Carroll, Moira O’Bryan, Greg FitzHarris. APP1146468.

2018-2020 NHMRC Project Grant. Finding the missing katanin. CI: Moira O’Bryan. APP1138014.

2017-2019 NHMRC Partnership Projects. Health and fertility of young men conceived using intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection. Cis: McLachlan, R., Halliday, J., Amor, D. J., Lane, M., McBain, J., O’Bryan, M., Rombauts, L. and Saffery, R.

2017- 2022       Deutsche Forshungsgemeinshaft International Training Grant
International Research Training Grant in the area of Molecular Pathogenesis of Male Reproductive Disorders.
Lead CIs: Prof Loveland and Prof Meinhardt, with German CIs: Bergmann, Bhushan, Chakraborty, Diemer, Fijak, Konrad, Linn, Middenforff, Schagdarsurengin, Scheiner-Bobis, Schuppe, Steger, Wagenlehner. Australian CIs: Ellem, Hedger, O’Bryan, O’Donnell, Stanton, Risbridger. Australian AIs: Baker, Hobbs, Loveland. DFG Support: € 4.15 million

2017-2021: NHMRC Project Grant. The genetic causes of male infertility. CIs: Moira O’Bryan, Rob McLachlan, Joris Veltman, Don Conrad and Kenneth Aston. APP1120356.
2016-2018: ARC Discovery Project. A novel microtubule severing protein involved in male germ cell biology. Moira O’Bryan. DP160100647.

2015-2018: NHMRC Project Grant. The characterisation of an essential regulator of pre-mRNA splicing required for germ cell function and male fertility. CIs: Moira O’Bryan, Duangporn Jamsai, Robin Hobbs. APP1078042.