Professor Ray Rodgers
NHMRC Principal Research Fellow, Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Member of the Research Centre for Reproductive Health, a constituent research centre of the Robinson Institute.
Chairman, Grants and Personnel Committee, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Adelaide, (2008-ongoing).
Committe member, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Adelaide, to evaluate NHMRC equipment grants, (2003-ongoing).
Member of Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Adelaide, Research Committee, (2004-ongoing).
Member of Scholarship/Fellowship sub-committee of Royal Adelaide Hospital and Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science Research Committee,(2004-ongoing).
Faculty member of Faculty of 1000 Biology (2004-ongoing).
Chairman of Adelaide Integrated Bioscience Laboratories.
Director, Tacnia Pty Ltd
Editor, Asia-Pacific Rim, Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, (2000-ongoing).
Editorial Board member Molecular Human Reproduction, (2008- ongoing).
Editorial Board member Endocrinology, (2007-2010).
Member of NHMRC Academy.
Research Program Leader of Ovarian Cell Biology research group.
Ovarian Cell Biology Research Group
Professor Ray Rodgers: NHMRC Prinicipal Research Fellow
Dr Helen Irving-Rodger: NHMRC Peter Doherty Research Fellow
Dr Katja Hummitzsch:Postdoctoral Fellow
Mr Nicholas Hatzirodos: Research Officer
Ms Wendy Bonner:Research Assistant
Mr Samuel Lee: Research Assistant
Dr Yvonne Miels:Administrative Assistant
Mr Thi Pham: Honours
Ms Tracy Nguyen:Honours
Ms Alice Lau: Honours
Past activities in the Endocrine Society of Australia
- President, elected August 1998 - November 2000.
- Vice-President, elected September 1996 - August 1998.
- Member of Council, elected September 1994 - November 2000.
- Chairman of the Program Organizing Committee for the Annual Scientific Meetings of the Endocrine Society of Australia.
- 1991 - Adelaide, Australia
- 1992 - Dunedin, New Zealand
- 1993 - Brisbane, Australia
- Member of local organizing committee for Annual Scientific Meeting, Adelaide, 1991 and 11th International Congress of Endocrinology in October 2000 in Sydney.
- Editor Newsletter, Endocrine Society of Australia, 1995-1999.
- Member of local organizing committee for three Annual Clinical Seminar Meetings, Adelaide, 1997, 1998, and 1999.
- Chairman of local organizing committee for Annual Scientific Meeting, Adelaide, August 2002.
- Chair of the publicity campaign for the International Congress of Endocrinology, 2000.
Past activities for NHMRC
- Member or chair of Grant Review Panels (2001, 2006, chair in 2007).
- Member or chair of Training Award Committee (2003, 2004, 2005).
Past conference organising committees
PhD, Department of Veterinary Preclinical Sciences, University of Melbourne.
Research Project: Studies of the ovine small and large luteal cells.
Master of Agricultural Science, Department of Physiology, University of Melbourne and the Animal Research Institute, Werribee, Victoria.
Research Project: Aspects of endocrinology of clover infertility in sheep.
Bachelor of Agricultural Science, Honours, University of Melbourne, Victoria.
Awards & Achievements
2010 Honorary Life Member of the Endocrine Society of Australia
2009 Principal Research Fellowship NHMRC
2007 Underwood Fellowship, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council of the UK
2000 Principal Research Fellowship NHMRC, renewed in 2004.
1992 Senior research Fellowship NHMRC, renewed in 1996.
1986 Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship, Australia
1982 The Junior Scientist Award - Australian Society for Reproductive Biology
Our overarching goals are to discover key aspects of ovarian development that underpin our understanding of infertility and endocrine diseases involving the ovary, and to develop prevention and treatment strategies for these. My group, in collaboration with many others, focuses on the roles of extracellular matrix. Matrix is diverse and complex and regulates many cellular and tissue functions. It has been largely overlooked in comparison with the numerous studies of hormones and growth factors in the ovary and hence holds potential for many new discoveries.
Novel Concepts on the Aetiology of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: While the precise aetiology of PCOS is yet to be determined, several familial studies from others have demonstrated an association between PCOS and the dinucleotide repeat microsatellite marker D19S884. D19S884 is located within intron 55 of the extracellular matrix gene fibrillin 3 gene. Studies of fibrillins 1 and 2 have shown that they function both as structural components of elastin fibres or mircrofibrils and as regulators of TGFβ family members. Regulation of TGFβ activity by fibrillins is a result of their ability to bind to latent TGFβ binding proteins causing sequestration of latent TGFβs into the extracellular matrix where they are stored and/or activated. TGFβs stimulate collagen production by fibroblasts and are up regulated in fibrosis. The PCOS ovary has increased trunica albunigea and stroma and collagen deposition in these layers. We are exploring the function of this family of molecules and its relationship to PCOS. This research has the potential to be very important in explaining the pathology of the ovary of PCOS women and possibly herald new directions in the quest to understand the aetiology of the PCO syndrome.
Oocyte Quality: Whilst studying the follicular basal laminas we discovered in bovine and in humans that follicles have one of either of two phenotypes of follicular basal lamina (which we believe are due to differential rates of follicle antrum expansion). These forms are related to the quality of oocytes within them based upon their ability to mature in vitro. Both follicles are healthy. Using a combination of microarrays, proteomics and metabolomics we are identifying molecules differentially present in these follicles that could be used as biomarkers for each follicle type. Significant savings and improvements in ART should be possible if we could choose the better embryos for uterine transfer in IVF programs, thus increasing success rates.
Focimatrix and Maturation of Follicles: We have identified many components of matrix and the changes they undergo in developing follicles, atretic follicles, ovulating follicles and resultant corpora lutea. We also identified a novel type of basal lamina matrix, called focimatrix, which is developmentally regulated in the later phases of follicular growth. The novel aspect of this matrix is its conformation. Basal laminas are normally a sheet of matrix ‘wrapped' around a cell or a group of cells (epithelia or endothelia). Therefore basal laminas make compartments within tissues. Focimatrix, however, does not form a continuous layer and thus it cannot perform known basal lamina functions. Our recent data suggest that focimatrix is the key to a follicle developing dominance over other follicles in the follicular phase of the cycle. Studies into its regulation and function maybe useful in improving fertility both in PCOS women and in IVF programs.
Formation of Follicular Fluid: Growth of the follicle encompasses enlargement of the oocyte, replication of follicular cells and formation and expansion of a central follicular antrum or cavity. Many in vitro studies of follicular growth have focused on the replication of granulosa cells, whilst in vivo studies using ultrasonography have focused on the expansion of the follicular antrum and its fluid. Replication of follicular cells and expansion of the follicular antrum are both important, and both are probably stimulated by some of the same hormones and growth factors. They are, however, very distinct processes and yet we are the only group currently studying formation of follicular fluid. Our central hypothesis on follicular fluid formation, which is based upon our data, suggests that production by granulosa cells of hyaluronan and the chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan versican generate an osmotic gradient to draw in fluid from the thecal layer. At this stage our research interest in this area is simply novel and basic but could ultimately be important for understanding a key part of ovarian follicle development.
NHMRC Program Grant
Publications and citation metrics as listed on ISI Web of Knowledge
Selection of recent publications from over 100 refereed articles, reviews and book chapters.
Editor, Extracellular matrix in the ovary - Preface. Seminars in Reproductive Medicine, 2006; 24 (4):193-194.
Co-Editor, Special Issue: Endocrine Cell Lines - Preface. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 2004; 228 (1-2):ix-ix.
Matti N, Irving-Rodgers HF, Hatzirodos N, Sullivan TR and Rodgers RJ (2010) Differential expression of focimatrix and steroidogenic enzymes before size deviation in bovine ovarian follicles. Mol Cell Endo 321, 207-214.
Rodgers RJ, Irving-Rodgers HF (2010) Formation of the ovarian follicular antrum and follicular fluid. Biol Reprod 82, 1021-1029.
Irving-Rodgers HF, Hummitzsch K, Murdiyarso LS, Bonner WM, Sado Y, NinomiyaY, Couchman JR, Sorokin LM and Rodgers RJ (2010) Dynamics of extracellular matrix in ovarian follicles and corpora lutea of mice. Cell Tissue Res 339, 613-624.
Rodgers RJ, Irving-Rodgers HF (2010) Classification of bovine ovarian follicles. Reproduction 139, 309-318.
Prodoehl MJ, Hatzirodos N, Irving-Rodgers HF, Zhao ZZ, Painter JN, Hickey TE, Gibson MA, Rainey WE, Carr BR, Mason HD, Norman RJ, Montgomery GW, Rodgers RJ (2009) Genetic and gene expression analyses of the polycystic ovary syndrome candidate gene fibrillin-3 and its family members in human ovaries. Molec Human Reprod 15, 829-841.
Irving-Rodgers HF, Harland ML, Sullivan TR and Rodgers RJ (2009) Studies of granulosa cells maturation in dominant and subordinate bovine follicles: Novel extracellular matrix focimatrix is co-ordinately regulated with cholesterol side-chain cleavage CYP11A1. Reproduction 137, 825-834.
Prodoehl MJ, Irving-Rodgers HF, Bonner W, Sullivan TM, Micke GC, Gibson MA, Perry VE, Rodgers RJ (2009) Fibrillins and latent TGFβ binding proteins in bovine ovaries of offspring following high or low protein diets during pregnancy of dams. Molec Cell Endo 307, 133-141.
Irving-Rodgers HF, Morris S, Collett RA, Peura TT, Davy M, Thompson JG, Mason HD, Rodgers RJ (2009) Phenotypes of the ovarian follicular basal lamina predict developmental competence of oocytes. Human Reprod. 24, 936-944.
Irving-Rodgers HF, Ziolkowski A, Parish C, Sado Y, Nimomiya Y, Simeonovic C, Rodgers RJ (2008) Molecular composition of the peri-islet basement membrane in NOD mice: a barrier against destructive insulitis. Diabetologia 51, 1680-1688.
Clarke HG, Hope SA, Byers S, Rodgers RJ (2006) Formation of ovarian follicular fluid may be due to the osmotic potential of large glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans. Reproduction 132, 119-131.
Irving-Rodgers HF, LM Harland Rodgers RJ (2004) A novel basal lamina matrix of the stratified epithelium of the ovarian follicle. Matrix Biol. 23, 207-217.
Entry last updated: Wednesday, 19 Sep 2012