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Zizhen Huang

Research student, School of Biosciences


In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is used to treat over 2 million couples worldwide for infertility per year. The most commons form of IVF involves injecting a sperm into the egg which is effective when sperm contain high levels of protein called PLCzeta. However, the technique does not always work because human sperm are variable, and an embryologist cannot assess how much PLCzeta is in the before sperm they inject it. This project aims to establish a novel fluorescence assay of PLCzeta activity that works in individual sperm using standard microscopes. The projects will use fluorescence microscopy and microinjection to establish and test the reliability of this assay, in animals, using mouse or pig sperm injected into mouse eggs. The work will form the basis for preclinical trials with human sperm.

2014-2019 undergraduate  Gannan Medical University

2020-2021 Master student  University of Nottingham


Research interests

I am interested in cell signalling and metabolism during animal fertilization and early embryo development.


To develop a new method for measuring PLCZ1 activity

Funding source

China Scholarship Council 



Professor Karl Swann

Head of Biomedicine Division

Dr Rosalind John

Professor Rosalind John

Director of Research, Professor