New impetus for reproductive studies between UP's Faculty of Veterinary Science and the University of Naples

Posted on November 06, 2015

Prof Bianca Gasparrini from the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production at the Frederico II University of Naples will visit the Reproduction Section in the Department of Production Animal Studies at the University of Pretoria (UP)’s Faculty of Veterinary Science from 5 to 13 November 2015. On 9 November, she will be leading a Production Animal Studies (PAS) Research Forum. Her visit is seen as a crucial opportunity for discussing possible future cooperation between the two institutions.

Prof Gasparrini is involved in research on the reproduction of cattle and Mediterranean water buffalo in Italy, and her areas of interest include in vitro technology. Her visit has been made possible thanks to NRF funding obtained by Dr Giulia Esposito from the Department of Production Animal Studies specifically for collaboration between the two countries.

During her visit, Prof Gasparrini will  inform the Department on her work. Thanks to this collaboration, Mr Mario Smuts, first technical assistant in the Reproduction Section, will be able to visit Prof Gasparrini’s Laboratory of Biotechnologies Applied to Animal Breeding in Naples from 11 January until 10 March 2016, during which time an experiment for the project ’Conjugated Linoleic Acid: effects on spermatogenesis, sperm quality and freezability in bovines’ will be conducted. During his stay in Naples, Mario will receive specific training in the procedures that will be used in this project. Under the supervision of Prof Gasparrini, he will conduct another project, ’Effect of Bovine cumulus cell co-culture on in vitro embryo production after intracytoplasmic sperm injection in cattle’. While in Italy, Mario will also assist with the training of students in intracytoplasmic sperm injection techniques.

It is furthermore expected that the collaboration on the abovementioned projects will be reflected in the co-authorship of the possible scientific papers based on this collaboration. This could be beneficial for both the Faculty and the hosting laboratory in Italy and would certainly go a long way towards strengthening collaboration between the two countries within the executive programme of scientific and technological cooperation for the years 2014 to 2016.


- Author Faculty of Veterinary Science

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