Professor Mark Hedger has worked in men’s reproductive health since completing his PhD at Monash University in 1984. Subsequently, he received an NIH Visiting Fellowship to work in the Gamete Biology Section, Laboratory of Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in North Carolina, USA. In 1987, he returned to Melbourne to take up an Australian Postdoctoral Research Fellowship with the Department of Anatomy at Monash University.

From 1991 until 1994 Professor Hedger was an inaugural NHMRC Wright Fellow at the Institute of Reproduction and Development (now the Hudson Institute of Medical Research). In 1993 he was appointed an Institute Senior Scientist/Laboratory Head, and in 1996, Deputy-Director of the Centre for Reproduction and Development. In 2001 he was awarded an NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship, a position he continued to hold until 2016. He received an Associate Professorial Fellowship through Monash University’s Department of Physiology in 2003, and is currently a Senior Principal Research Fellow at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research and Professor in the Department of Molecular and Translational Sciences at Monash University. He has published more than 150 scholarly reports and scientific papers, principally in the fields of male reproductive tract biology, activin biology and inflammatory disease in various tissues. His research was recognized as one of the NHMRC’s “10 of the Best” Research Projects in 2008. He also serves on the editorial board of the Andrologia, and is a Section Editor for the Journal of Reproductive Immunology.

Professor Hedger is a member of several Australian and international scientific societies and was President of the Society for Reproductive Biology (2009 -2012). He is a Fellow of the Society for Reproductive Biology and a Fellow of the Society for the Study of Reproduction (USA).

Selected publications

  • Wijayarathna R, Genovese R, Meinhardt A, Loveland KL, Groome NP, Hinton BT, Hedger MP (2021) Examination of testicular lumicrine regulation of activins and immunoregulatory genes in the epididymal caput. Andrology: 20 Aug. Epub ahead of print. Doi: 10.1111/andr.13099

  • Aldahhan RA, Stanton PG, Ludlow H, de Kretser DM, Hedger MP (2021) Experimental cryptorchidism causes chronic inflammation and a progressive decline in Sertoli cell and Leydig cell function in the adult rat testis. Reprod Sci May 18. Doi: 10.1007/s43032-021-00616-0.

  • Wijayarathna R, Pasalic A, Nicolas N, Biniwale S, Ravinthiran R, Genovese R, Muir JA, Loveland KL, Meinhardt A, Fijak M, Hedger MP (2020) Region-specific immune responses to autoimmune epididymitis in the murine reproductive tract. Cell Tissue Res. May 8. doi: 10.1007/s00441-020-03215-8.

  • Wijayarathna R, Hedger MP (2019)  Activins, follistatin and immunoregulation in the epididymis.  Andrology Jul 19. doi: 10.1111/andr.12682.

  • Szarek M, Bergmann M, Konrad L, Shuppe HC, Kliesch S, Hedger MP and Loveland KL (2019)  Activin A target genes are differentially expressed between normal and neoplastic adult human testes: clues to gonocyte fate choice. Andrology 7: 31-41.

  • Marini KD, Croucher DR, McCloy RA, Vaghiani V, Gonzalez-Rajal A, Hastings JF, Chin V, Szczepny A, Kostyrko K, Marquez C, Jayasekara WSN, Alamgeer M, Boolell V, Han JZR, Waugh T, Lee HC, Oakes SR, Kumar B, Harrison CA, Hedger MP, Lorensuhewa N, Kita B, Barrow R, Robinson BW, de Kretser DM, Wu J, Ganju V, Sweet-Cordero EA, Burgess A, Martelotto LG, Rossello FJ, Cain JE and Watkins DN (2018)  Inhibition of activin signaling in lung adenocarcinoma increases the therapeutic index of platinum chemotherapy. Science Translational Medicine 10: eaat3504.

  • Wijayarathna R, de Kretser DM, Meinhardt A, Middendorff R, Ludlow H, Groome NP, Loveland KA and Hedger MP (2018) Activin over-expression in the testis of mice lacking the inhibin α-subunit gene is associated with androgen deficiency and regression of the male reproductive tract.  Mol Cell Endocrinol 470:188-198.

  • Wijayarathna R, de Kretser DM, Sreenivasan R, Ludlow H, Middendorff R, Meinhardt A, Loveland MK and Hedger MP (2018) Comparative analysis of activins A and B in the adult mouse epididymis and vas deferens. Reproduction 155(1): 15-23.

  • Nicolas N, Muir JA, Hayward S, Chen JL, Stanton PG, Gregorevic P, de Kretser DM, Loveland, KL, Bhushan S, Meinhardt A, Fijak M and Hedger MP (2017) Induction of experimental autoimmune orchitis in mice:  responses to elevated circulating levels of the activin-binding protein, follistatin.  Reproduction 154(3):293-305.

  • Wijayarathna R, Sarraj MA, Genovese R, Girling JE, Michel V, Ludlow H, Loveland KL, Meinhardt A, de Kretser DM and Hedger MP (2017) Activin and follistatin interactions in the male reproductive tract:  activin expression and morphological  abnormalities in mice lacking follistatin 288.  Andrology 5(3): 578-588.

  • Lidbury BA, Kita B, Lewis DP, Hayward S, Ludlow H, Hedger MP and de Kretser DM (2017)  Activin B is a novel biomarker for chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) diagnosis: a cross-sectional study. Journal of Translational Medicine 15: 60.

  • Nicolas N, Michel V, Bhushan S, Wahle E, Hayward S, Ludlow H, de Kretser DM, Loveland KL, Schuppe HC, Meinhardt A, Hedger MP, Fijak M (2017) Testicular activin and follistatin levels are elevated during the course of experimental autoimmune epididymo-orchitis in mice. Scientific Reports 7: 42391.

  • Ramaswamy S, Walker WH, Aliberti P, Sethi R, Marshall GR, Smith A, Nourashrafeddin S, Belgorosky A, Chandran UR, Hedger MP and Plant TM (2017)  The juvenile rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) testicular transcriptome and differential gene expression associated with the decision of undifferentiated spermatogonia to commit to the differentiation pathway. Human Reproduction 32: 2088-2100.

  • Michel V, Duan Y, Stoschek E, Bhushan S, Middendorff R, Young JM, Loveland KA, de Kretser DM, Hedger MP, Meinhardt A (2016) Uropathogenic Escherichia coli cause fibrotic remodelling of the epididymis. Journal of Pathology 240: 15-24.

  • de Kretser DM, Bensley JG, Phillips DJ, Levvey BJ, Snell GI, Lin E, Hedger MP and O’Hehir RE (2016)  Substantial increases occur in serum activins and follistatin during lung transplantation. PLOS One 11: e0140948.

  • Michel V, Pilatz A, Hedger MP, Meinhardt A (2015)  Epididymitis: revelations at the convergence of clinical and basic sciences. Asian Journal of Andrology 17: 756-763. (Review)

  • Holdsworth-Carson SJ, Craythorn RG, Winnall WR, Dhaliwal K, Genovese R, Nowell CJ, Rogers PAW, de Kretser DM, Hedger M, Girling JE (2015)  Follistatin is essential for the normal postnatal development and function of mouse oviduct and uterus. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 27: 985-999.

  • de Kretser DM, Bensley JG, Pettilä V, Linko R, Hedger MP, Hayward S, Allan C, McLachlan RI, Ludlow H, Phillips DJ (2013)  Serum activin A and B levels predict outcomes in patients with acute respiratory failure: a prospective cohort study. Critical Care 17: R263.

  • Hedger MP, de Kretser DM (2013)  The activins and their binding protein, follistatin – diagnostic and therapeutic targets in inflammatory disease and fibrosis. Cytokine and Growth Factor Reviews 24: 285-295. (Review)

  • Wu H, Chen Y, Winnall WR, Phillips DJ, Hedger MP (2012)  Acute regulation of activin A and its binding protein, follistatin, in serum and tissues following lipopolysaccharide treatment of adult mice. American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 303: R665-675.

  • Winnall WR, Wu H, Sarraj M, Rogers PAW, de Kretser DM, Girling JE, Hedger MP (2013)  Expression patterns of activin, inhibin and follistatin variants in the adult male mouse reproductive tract suggest important roles in the epididymis and vas deferens. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 25:570-580.

  • Hedger MP (2011)  Immunophysiology and pathology of inflammation in the testis and epididymis. Journal of Andrology 32: 625-640. (Review)

  • Winnall WR, Muir JA, Hedger MP (2011)  Rat resident testicular macrophages have an alternatively-activated phenotype and constitutively produce interleukin-10 in vitro. Journal of Leukocyte Biology 90: 133-143.