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We are a group of scientists who are interested in understanding how lifestyle and environmental factors impact the sperm epigenome, thereby transmitting disease from a father to his children. As one of the NIH/NICHD-supported National Centers for Translational Research in Reproduction and Infertility (NCTRI), our center is the first to focus on sperm epigenomics.
In the short term, our studies will elucidate the mechanisms through which an unhealthy lifestyle in men can predispose their offspring to the development of unhealthy phenotypes or disease. In the long term, we aim tounderstand the mechanisms underlying inter- and trans-generational epigenetic inheritance of disease phentype.
The research conducted at our Center is of high significance because unhealthy lifestyles are increasingly prevalent and germline-mediated epigenetic inheritance of environmentally-induced disease phenotypes has been shown to impact human health to a much greater extent than previously suspected.
As a clinical project, the study is focused on the effect of obesity and/or physical inactivity on human sperm epigenome in an ethnically homogeneous group of Hispanic men. It is highly significant to human health in general and to the health disparity of the elevated risk of consumption of unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity among Hispanic youths and adult men in particular.
It aims to solve an intriguing, but understudied question: how does an environmental exposure (e.g., consumption of high fat, high sugar diet, plus a lack of exercise), which we assume will initially impact the soma, ultimately lead to the formation of epimutations in spermatozoa?
This project utilizes a mouse model to determine specific epimutations induced by a high fat/high sugar diet in both soma and sperm. It will also track these epimutations to see how they are transmitted from sperm to early embryos and then become manifestied in adulthood to induce metabolic syndrome.
Our research has a broader impact on not only men's wellbeing but the health perspectives of the next generations. If you would like to support our research financially, please feel free to contatc us.
1664 North Virginia Street, MS575Reno, NV 89557, USA
Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday - Sunday: Closed