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University of Utah Doctors on Team to Study Genetic Causes of Male Infertility

Male infertility can be devastating for men and their partners. Despite that, an underlying cause of infertility cannot be identified in about half of infertile men. Now researchers have received a 2.1 million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health for the Genetics of Male Infertility Initiative (GEMINI), a five-year project aimed at discovering the genetic causes of infertility, and looking at how best to address them in a clinical setting through personalized genomic medicine. The GEMINI team will be specifically studying men who suffer from azoospermia, a condition in which no sperm are produced.

Kenneth Aston, PhD, assistant professor of surgery at the University of Utah School of Medicine, is one of the primary investigators with Project Gemini. He is working with an international team of more than a dozen urologists, andrologists and geneticists from seven countries who see roughly 20-thousand patients seeking infertility treatments each year. James Hotaling, M.D., U of U assistant professor of surgery, and Douglas Carrell, Ph.D, U of U professor or surgery, are co-investigators on GEMINI. They, along with the rest of the team hope to change the way male infertility is not only diagnosed, but treated.