Graduate's work on testis stem cells wins Images of Research competition

Dr. Awang Hazmi Awang Junaidi is a DVM-MVSc graduate from Malaysia and a current PhD graduate student in Dr. Honaramooz’s lab at the Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences. His work on culturing male germline stem cells has led to exciting new findings, and the images from this work have been recognized in multiple competitions.

His recent image entry for the 2017 UofS Images of Research Competition titled “Bloom Where You Are Planted” won 1st Place in the Viewer’s Choice category (the webpage was viewed 40,000 times and received 4200 votes), as well as 1st Place in the More than Meet the Eye category, selected by a jury from among 100 entries. 


Awang's award-winning photo

Bloom where you are planted 

These are no ordinary flowers! They are actually a group of aggregating cells, namely a colony of gonocytes, germ cells in the newborn testis that after maturity give rise to sperm. When grown in culture, gonocytes will exhibit various types of cytoplasmic extensions appearing as leaf-like, finger-like or bulges that act as 'limbs' that assist their migration toward each other to form this flowery-like colony. These attributes are crucial in ensuring their survival. Failure to migrate will lead to their death. This research will provide valuable insight into how male germline cells develop and it has implications for preserving male fertility. The image was taken using scanning electron microscopy (with credits to Dr. Eiko Kawamura from the WCVM Imaging Centre) and was colorized to highlight the formation.

See this photos and other winning entries on the Images of Research Competition Web Page