Project: Research project

Project Details


Our overall goal is to improve the reproductive health of men and women, thereby fostering the birth of healthy and wanted children. The objective of this application is to become part of the Cooperative Multicenter Reproductive Medicine Network (CMRMN). We are committed to cooperative research and offer a large patient base (including an unusually high percentage of minorities) from which to enroll subjects into Network protocols. We propose to achieve this objective by documenting that Wayne State's spectrum of research expertise and resources is consistent with successful participation in the Network; by providing evidence of Wayne State's commitment and track record in cooperative clinical research; and by providing a 'concept' protocol as proof of our ability to conceive and design a cooperative project. It is our expectation that we would be an integral and contributing member of the CMRMN in research identified by other members, and as an innovator of new projects. In particular, we would contribute to genome-wide screening for genetic differences that could explain the pathogenesis of reproductive abnormalities. One of our long-range research goals is to identify congenital and acquired genetic causes of male infertility, so that highly specific counseling and/or therapy can be offered to affected couples considering assisted reproductive technologies as a solution to infertility. The specific objective of our concept protocol is to identify genes, through the innovative application of microarray technology, closely associated with male factor infertility. The central hypothesis for the proposed research is that gene transcripts (mRNA species) contained in the sperm of infertile males will differ qualitatively and quantitatively, compared to those of fertile men, thereby allowing candidates for 'infertility genes' to be identified. The rationale is that once candidate genes have been identified by cooperative genome-wide screening, hypothesis-driven research can be formulated to determine whether they relate casually to one or more genetic forms of male factor infertility. We will test our central hypothesis by pursuing two specific aims: 1) identify the extent to which the profile of gene transcripts varies in the sperm of fertile males; and 2) identify gene transcripts that are expressed differently in the sperm of infertile, compared to fertile, men. The CMRMN is vital to successful completion of the protocol; it will assure the power needed to interpret results accurately. The proposed translational research is innovative because it combines clinical and basic molecular genetic expertise in a cooperative effort that will employ new analytical (microarray) technology to cost- effectively obtain clues to the genetic causes of male factor infertility. The outcomes will be significant because they will provide the foundations for definitive analysis of genetic factors that negatively affect male fertility, thereby leading to highly accurate, inexpensive diagnostic tests for genetic causes of male factor infertility, and in some cases, allow the prescription of specific replacement therapy.
Effective start/end date6/30/006/30/18


  • Medicine(all)