Karl Kerns Honored with Distinguished Dissertation Award

Karl Kerns, a postdoctoral fellow in animal sciences, has received the MU Distinguished Dissertation Award from the Graduate School as part of the Sixth Annual Graduate and Postdoctoral Award Ceremony. Kerns’ dissertation, “Zinc Ion Fluxes on the Pathway to Mammalian Sperm Fertilization Competency,” was supervised by Peter Sutovsky, professor of animal sciences. The research used a combination of new techniques to explain sperm zinc ion fluxes and develop a new sperm fertilization competency test. The test has been submitted for international patenting by the University of Missouri. The findings from Kerns’ dissertation have been published in the highly regarded Nature Communications. Sutovsky says Kerns’ work “has the potential to create new knowledge and paradigms in livestock reproductive management, human reproductive medicine, and developmental biology.”