WCVM student finalist in NSERC contest

NSERC finalist

This image shows different gonocytes (coloured cells) after two weeks in culture, interacting with testis cells (grey cells in the background). Photo: Awang Junaidi Awang Hazmi.

A University of Saskatchewan PhD student in veterinary biomedical sciences has been named one of 20 finalists in a nationwide showcase of scientific research images.

Awang Hazmi Awang Junaidi, an international U of S student from Malaysia, has made it to the final round of the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Science Exposed photo competition.

His research focuses on the development of male sex stem cells and testis in pigs under the supervision of Ali Honaramooz, a professor at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

The image, titled “The progenitor of male germ cells,” was captured by scanning electron microscope with the help of technician Eiko Kawamura. It depicts colourful sperm stem cell building blocks with finger-like extensions against a backdrop of grey testis cells.

The following caption describes the research image:

Gonocytes are cells that are progenitors of stem cells found in the testicles of newborns. This image shows different gonocytes (coloured cells) after two weeks in culture, interacting with testis cells (grey cells in the background). Gonocytes possess various types of leaf-like, finger-like and membrane bleb extensions to help them migrate and communicate. In the developing testis, migrating gonocytes move from the centre to the periphery of the seminiferous tubules, where they become spermatogonial stem cells and produce countless numbers of sperm throughout adulthood. Research on gonocytes will provide valuable insight into their role in preserving male fertility.

Awang Junaidi is an accomplished photographer, having won first place in the People’s Choice and More Than Meets The Eye categories of the 2017 U of S Images of Research competition. He also won the Adventure and Sport category in the U of S Go Abroad photo contest.

You can vote for Awang Junaidi’s submission (image number 11) on the NSERC website.

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