Andrology

Our research team is studying how the genetic material in sperm, and factors in semen impact the processes involved in making an embryo, embryo growth and child health. These studies will improve our understanding of male fertility and help us develop new tests and new treatments for male infertility.

Dad’s Health Matters

Dad’s Health Matters

Folic acid is an essential B vitamin that is important for DNA. The importance of folic acid in female fertility and pre-conception care is well known, but less research has been done in men. Recent studies have shown that folate supplementation improves sperm quality and reduces the risk of birth defects. Our studies, done in collaboration with McGill University, aim to understand the benefits of folic acid supplementation on male fertility, understand lifestyle factors that impact folic acid-related functions, and improve awareness of pre-conception male reproductive health.

The Role of Telomeres in Sperm Function and Embryo Quality

Telomeres are protective elements at the end of DNA that protect the DNA from breaking down. Every time a cell divides, its telomeres shorten by a small amount. Eventually when the telomeres reach a critically short length, the cell will undergo "apoptosis" or cell death because its DNA is no longer protected. Out of all the cells in the body, sperm cells have the longest telomeres, but their role in fertility is largely unknown. In this study, we look at how the length of the telomeres affects sperm quality and embryo quality.

The Role of Telomeres in Sperm Function and Embryo Quality
Improving Methods to Isolate Rare Sperm

Improving Methods to Isolate Rare Sperm

5-10% of male infertility cases are associated with low or absence of sperm production. Patients with oligozoospermia have a very low number of sperm in their ejaculate. Patients with azoospermia have no sperm present in their ejaculate, however, in 50% of cases, sperm are still being produced in the testis and can be retrieved by performing a microdissection testicular sperm extraction, which involved removal of a small piece of testicular tissue. Because the concentration of sperm in these patients is very low, it is often difficult to locate sperm in ejaculates of oligozoospermic patients and in the testicular tissue of azoospermic patients. We are developing new methods to identify the presence of rare sperm in these patients.