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Dr Kevin Coward

Dr Kevin Coward

My connections

 GROUP MEMBERS

  • Mrs Celine Jones (Laboratory Manager)
  • Dr Bec Dragovic (Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow)
  • Mrs Laura Rose (MSc Course Administrator)
  • 
Miss Siti N. Amdani (DPhil Student)
  • 
Miss Lien Davidson (DPhil Student)
  • Dr Eisa Al Eisaei (DPhil Student)
  • Miss Felicitas Azpiroz (MSc Student)
  • Miss Adwoa Dadson (MSc Student)
  • Dr Sanya Arora (MSc Student)
  • Mr Oliver Lloyd-Parry (Medical Student)
  • Miss Alice MacNeill (Medical Student)
  • Professor Chris Graham (Academic Visitor)

Group Photo - Summer 2015

Group Photo - Summer 2015

 RESEARCH COLLABORATORS

  • Oxford Fertility 
  • Dr Helen Townley (NDOG, Oxford)
  • Associate Professor Dagan Wells (NDOG, Oxford)
  • Professor Elspeth Garmen (Biochemistry, Oxford)
  • Professor Benedikt Kessler (NDM, Oxford)
  • Professor Chris Barratt (Dundee, UK)
  • Dr Sarah Martins Da Silva (Dundee, UK)
  • Research Instruments Life Sciences (UK)
  • Dr Lucy Coleman (Ferti Aguerrevere, Venezuela)
  • Dr Bjorn Heindryckx (Ghent, Belgium)
  • Professor Petra de Sutter (Ghent, Belgium)
  • Dr Sheila Lane (OUH NHS Trust, Oxford)
  • Associate Professor Anne Goriely (RDM, Oxford)

PRIZES AND AWARDS

2016 - Finalist - Royal Society of Biology Higher Education Bioscience Teacher of the Year Award (Dr Kevin Coward). For an outstanding contribution to higher education in the biosciences (National Award Scheme).

2015 - Titular Commendation - University Teaching Excellence Award Scheme. Awarded to Dr Kevin Coward for his contribution to teaching in the Medical Science Division.

2015 - Nanoscience Research Leadership Award. Awarded to Dr Kevin Coward and Team by the Cognizure Publication Group based upon publication record in the field.

2014 - University Teaching Excellence Award. For innovative use of information technology in teaching and learning. Awarded to Dr Kevin Coward, Mrs Celine Jones and Dr Natalia Barkalina.

2014 - OxTALENT Award (Teaching & Learning Enhanced with New Technology). Awarded to Dr Kevin Coward, Mrs Celine Jones, and Dr Natalia Barkalina for the design of an interactive video-enhanced poster using whiteboard technology. 

2013 - University Teaching Excellence Award. For innovative use of information technology in teaching and learning. Awarded to Dr Kevin Coward and Mrs Celine Jones.

2013 - OxTALENT Award (Teaching & Learning Enhanced with New Technology). Awarded to Dr Kevin Coward and Mrs Celine Jones for innovative use of interactive whiteboard technology in the classroom.

2012 - University of Oxford Major Educator Teaching Excellence Award. Team award to Dr Kevin Coward, Mrs Celine Jones, Professor Stephen Kennedy, Professor  Ian Sargent, Ms Pip Elphick, Dr Karen Turner, Dr Christian Becker, Mr Tim Child, Mr Enda McVeigh and Dr Junaid Kashir. 

2005 - British Andrology Society Prize. Jointly awarded to Dr Kevin Coward for work describing the use of in vivo gene transfer procedures for studying spermatogenesis. Joint Conference of the UK Fertility Societies, Fertility 2005, University of Warwick, U.K.

 

GROUP AWARDS/PRIZES

2015 - Winner, Society for Reproduction and Fertility (SRF) Stewart Rhind Science Writing Prize. Miss Ho-Yi Tang (Clinical Medical Student) for an essay discussing new techniques for mitochondrial transfer. 

2011 - Winner, Society for Reproduction and Fertility (SRF) Prize Essay. Miss Claire Durrans (Biochemistry Project Student) for an essay describing the Nobel Prize winning work of Professor Sir Robert Edwards.

Kevin Coward

BSc (Hons) PhD CBiol FRSB FHEA

Director of the MSc in Clinical Embryology. Principal Investigator/Research Group Leader

  • Fellow (Royal Society of Biology)
  • Fellow (Higher Education Academy)
  • Divisional Audit Sub-Committee
  • Tutor and Mentor (Divisional Skills Training)
  • Visiting Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

BIOGRAPHY

I graduated from the University of Stirling (Scotland) with a Bachelors degree in Biological Science and a PhD in Reproductive Physiology and Endocrinology. Since leaving Scotland in 1994, my research has predominantly involved pharmacological, physiological and molecular aspects of both male and female reproduction utilizing a variety of biochemical and molecular approaches. I have held post-doctoral positions at Brunel University, Queen Mary University London, Imperial College London, and University College London. In 2002, I moved to the Department of Pharmacology in Oxford, and in  2008 joined the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology as Director of the  MSc  in Clinical Embryology. 

I am a member of the British Fertility Society, the Society for Reproduction and Fertility, the British Andrology Society, the Royal Microscopy Society, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology. I have acted as Senior Editor for four academic book volumes and regularly act as a Tutor for the Divisional Skills Training Programme. I retain a proactive interest in the pedagogy of teaching and learning in higher education, was elected as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2011, and am currently studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in Learning & Teaching in Higher Education (PGDipLATHE) with the Oxford Learning Institute. 

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Historically, my research has involved the molecular mechanisms of oocyte activation at fertilisation, with special emphasis on how such mechanisms may impart effect upon male fertility. Activation of the egg at fertilization is a fundamental developmental event and in mammals is associated with a rise in intracellular egg calcium that manifests as a series of characteristic oscillations. Current research strongly suggests that the protein responsible is a sperm-specific phospholipase C with distinctive properties, PLCζ. 

My team investigates how PLCζ, and other sperm proteins interacting with the oocyte at fertilisation, might be related to certain types of male infertility including oocyte activation deficiency, total fertilisation failure, or recurrent ICSI failure. Current emphasis includes the potential role of oocyte proteins which interact with PLCζ and other sperm proteins in order to induce activation. Other projects are developing nanoparticle-mediated systems to deliver engineered protein constructs, or other molecular agents, into mammalian gametes or embryos. Such methods could provide a useful tool for studying the role of sperm-specific proteins during fertilisation and early embryogenesis, and may provide an effective means of delivering targeted clinical agents. Additional projects concern the potential adverse effects of clinical procedures upon sperm protein structure and function, and are exploring the application of infra-red laser technology in assisted reproductive technology and investigative reproductive science.

My team also collaborates with the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on a project which aims to help  young people at risk of developing infertility, for example those undergoing aggressive radio/chemotherapy for childhood cancers. My team provides specific research support/initiative for a clinical programme which aims to cryopreserve testicular tissue from young boys prior to aggressive clinical treatments which may influence sperm production. 

An additional project, led by Professor Graham, seeks to evaluate how cytoplasmic movements in the early human embryo might serve as potential markers of clinical viability.

SOURCES OF GROUP FUNDING

Our research has been funded by a variety of internal (Medical Research Fund, EPA Cephalosporin Fund) and external (The Royal Society, Wingate Trust, Wellcome Trust, EPSRC Pathways to Impact Scheme, The Higher Education Academy,  European Commission, and The Rosetrees Trust) sources. 

Our DPhil students have been very successful in securing competitive funding from a number of internal (Clarendon, Graduate School, Cyril and Phyllis Long) and external (Ministry of Higher Education - Malaysia, Chancellor's Scholarship - Universiti of Brunei) scholarship schemes.

OPPORTUNITIES TO WORK WITH US

Speculative enquiries from those interested in working or studying with us (e.g., potential DPhil, MSc by Research, or ERASMUS students) are welcome at any time. Please contact Dr Coward by in the first instance. 

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Images courtesy of group members, Cambridge University Press, OxTALENT, and Matt Lodge Photography.