$1.5 million for male fertility research

Doctor

Dr. John Richburg, associate professor of pharmacy at The University of Texas at Austin, has been awarded a five-year $1.5 million National Institutes of Health grant to study the adverse effects of environmental toxicants on male fertility and disease. Specifically, he is studying a class of compounds called phthalates. These are used in the manufacturing of plastics and other common consumer products.

“Exposure to low levels of phthalates during the fetal period of testicular development may cause testicular cancer or infertility later in adult life,” Richburg explained. While there may be an association between exposure to the phthalates and infertility, little is known about the mechanisms by which they effect male fertility. “If we can understand the underlying mechanisms at the molecular and cellular level that account for the effects of toxic compounds, then we can develop ore effective strategies to prevent disease and infertility,” said Richburg. His university lab is well known and internationally recognized for their work revealing molecular mechanisms that regulate cell death in the testis and the contribution of environmental toxins.

The results of this research will hopefully contribute to the development of a clinical treatment that will preserve fertility and enhance post-treatment quality of life for young men with cancer.


 
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