UTSA COS Summer Research Experience for 2013
Spermatogonial Stem Cells
The Hermann lab studies spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs), which are adult stem cells responsible for life-long sperm production in mammals. SSCs must balance self-renewal and differentiation to sustain spermatogenesis and fertility. The molecular mechanisms that control these fate decisions in SSCs are largely unknown. Students may participate in ongoing studies investigating the role(s) of transcriptional regulatory network in these SSC fate decisions (self-renewal and differentiation), and ultimately, spermatogenesis. We are also actively investigating methods to preserve the fertility of male cancer patients who would otherwise become sterile after chemotherapy or radiation treatments. While, there are currently no options to preserve/protect the future fertility of prepubertal boys who are not yet making sperm, several technologies are on the horizon to preserve their future fertility (e.g., SSC transplantation). Students may be involved with ongoing experiments to test novel approaches to protect spermatogenesis chemotherapy-induced cytotoxicity.