U2C: Futures in andrology


Freeze dried sperm

Dr Maite Olaciregui Rodríguez, Universidad de Zaragoza, and Project Manager and Content Specialist at Grupo Asís Biomedia, Spain

Dr Maite Olaciregui obtained her degree in Veterinary Science from University of Zaragoza (Spain) in 2011 and her Master’s degree in 2012, which focused on Animal Reproduction. She was awarded her PhD entitled “Development of the sperm freeze-drying technique as a method of preserving genetic material” in 2017, during which she worked as a fellow at the Department of Reproduction and Obstetrics at the University of Zaragoza collaborating in multiple studies with different species animals and in the teaching and research tasks of the Department. Her research interests are the strategies to preserve the sperm DNA integrity and functionality after the freeze-drying process to the final objective to obtain embryos from freeze-dried sperm. She joined the EDRA group in 2017 as E-learning project manager and scientific content specialist.

James Hotaling

Sperm selection with microfluidics

James M. Hotaling, Associate Professor of Surgery (Urology), University of Utah, USA

Dr Hotaling is the Director of Andrology Services at IVIRMA basking ridge and an Associate Professor of Surgery (Urology) at the University of Utah. He established the clinical male infertility program at IVIRMA and in Utah. He has over 200 publications and has had significant NIH funding to study men’s health and male infertility. He has also had multiple start-up companies related to men’s health and male infertility and has several patents. His work focuses on understanding how de novo mutations impact male infertility and its link to poor somatic health, microfluidic sperm sorting and the genetics of erectile dysfunction. He is the current president of the Society for the Study of Male Reproduction (SSMR) and an editor for Fertility & Sterility in addition to being the fellowship director for male infertility in Utah and the program director.

Ryan Flannigan

3D printing of testicular cells

Dr Ryan Flannigan, Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia, Canada

Dr Ryan Flannigan is an Assistant Professor and surgeon-scientist in the Department of Urologic Sciences, at the University of British Columbia. He serves as the director of the male reproduction and sexual medicine research program at UBC as well as the fellowship director of the Infertility, Sexual Medicine & Microsurgery Training program. His REGENERative & Advanced Infertility Therapeutics (REGENERAIT) research program is focused on developing novel therapies for male infertility. His program is highly collaborative and are working toward building artificial intelligence technology solutions for sperm identification in azoospermic males. His program is also working to understand patient-specific cellular dysfunction in azoospermic men with sperm production deficiencies through single cell sequencing approaches to develop a precision medicine framework to treat these patients through regenerative therapies. To accomplish this, Dr. Flannigan’s team is also working to develop a 3D bioprinted platform using primary and iPSC-derived cells to establish a human in vitro model of spermatogenesis and therapeutic conduit for regenerating sperm for males that cannot produce sperm in vivo.