Evolution, Reproduction & Medicine

"To suggest is to create, to describe is to destroy." Robert Doisneau

Our mission

We are a recently-established interdisciplinary research lab that applies evolutionary thinking to the study of human infertility. We use the intersection between different areas of knowledge to uncover the fundamental principles of germ cell formation and to understand how these unique cells are capable of generating new life.

Research topics

Ancient origins of male infertility

Sperm cells are produced in animals ranging from humble insects to the mighty gorilla. Despite a striking morphological variation between species, all sperm cells ultimately serve a single purpose: to transmit paternal information to the offspring. Could sperm production be driven by a common molecular program across species? If so, can this information help us identify new causes of human infertility?

The evolution of testicular cancer

On average, one out of 270 men will be diagnosed with testicular cancer in their lifetime. Although survival rates are outstanding, treatment is burdensome and often leads to a significantly decreased quality of life. To what extent do the evolutionary processes acting on male germ cells contribute to the onset of this disease? Can they be used to develop predictive biomarkers for personalized cancer treatment?

New approaches to contraception

Sharing the responsibility of family planning between partners is a key ethical principle. However, the lack of pharmaceutical contraceptive agents available for men limits more gender-equitable relationships. Can the evolution of our genome help us uncover unique targets for non-hormonal male contraception? Is it possible, through cutting-edge technology, to use these targets to reversibly suppress sperm production?