Gromoll group at Eberhard-Nieschlag-Platz (Spring 2019)

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Jörg Gromoll PhD
Group Leader
Tel.: +49 (0)251 83 5447
E-Mail: Jörg Gromoll

My group is striving to investigate the complex regulation of spermatogenesis by studying distant factors such as hormones and/or immediate factors regulating the germ –cell niche. This essential interplay of factors is required to obtain a quantitative and qualitative normal spermatogenesis or if dysregulated results in impaired spermatogenesis. We are approaching the regulation of spermatogenesis at different physiological and molecular levels using state-of the art techniques. I am a biologist by training with a great interest in deciphering genetic, epigenetic and endocrine causes for male infertility. These causes are studied at different phases of life starting from puberty and ranging into advanced age. Understanding impaired spermatogenesis allows by the same token developing treatment regimens for infertile men, another topic which is integral part of my research activities.

Dr. Sandra Laurentino
Tel.: +49 (0)251 83 57365
E-Mail: Sandra Laurentino

I’m a biochemist by training and did my PhD in Biomedicine. Spermatogenesis and the male germline have been my main research focus since I was a graduate student. My interests range from epigenetics to transcriptional regulation by hormones and transcription factors. I’m also curious about the changes to the male germline that occur with ageing, particularly at the epigenetic level. In addition, I’m interested in next generation sequencing, single-cell and high resolution analysis methods, and on bioinformatics. My goal is to use this knowledge and these tools to understand not only the regulation of germ cell development but also the disregulation of spermatogenesis that occurs, for example, in cases of male infertility.

Eva Pohl
PhD student
Tel.: +49 (0)251 83 56443
E-Mail: Eva Pohl

My research interest is focused on ageing in men with regard to their reproductive function and germ cell production. In particular, my research project deals with questions about how testicular tissue is altered in aged men and how spermatogenesis, spermatogonial population dynamics and the germ cell niche change upon ageing. Furthermore, I am addressing questions like “Is germ cell ageing different from what is known from somatic cells?” or “Does ageing lead to genetic and epigenetic changes which impair germ cell quality?” “What are characteristic molecular ageing signatures in germ cells and somatic cells and are they different between healthy men and patients with infertility?” My expertise is testicular histology and immunohistochemistry as well as molecular biology, e.g. with regard to methylation analysis and pyrosequencing.

Yousif Rassam
Tel.: +49 (0)251 83 54836
E-Mail: Yousif Rassam

I’m a Urologist, and I’m currently doing my Specialisation in the field of Andrology. As a clinician I see many patients with infertility problems. My task is to confirm the diagnose and try to create a therapy concept. I’m interested in finding out unknown causes of infertility, like FSH polymorphism. While analysing existing patient’s data combined with further investigations done by our research group, I would like to find out new therapy options for males with fertility problems.

Lina Franziska Pérez Lanuza
PhD student
Tel.: +49 (0)251 83 54831
E-Mail: Lina Pérez Lanuza

I am a PhD student and my project is part of Project 7 “Deciphering the FSH signaling on spermatogenesis” of the Clinical Research Unit “Male Germ Cells”. I am interested in idiopathic infertility and my work focuses on the identification of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) affecting FSH signaling and this way impairing spermatogenesis. I would like to analyze the gene expression profile of murine gonadotropine and Sertoli cell lines (stimulated versus non stimulated) in order to identify candidate genes in the FSH signaling. Subsequently, a functional analysis of the candidate genes/SNP using e.g. Luciferase Assay is planned. Finally, I would like to confirm the identified genes/SNPs in human testis and pituitary via immunofluorescence staining and qPCR analysis. The ultimate aim is to identify a subgroup of infertile men via SNP-Panel which can benefit from a FSH therapy.

Sven Berres
PhD student
Tel.: +49 (0)251 83 54830
E-Mail: Sven Berres

I am interested in ageing of both somatic and germ cells currently focusing on using human male sperm and blood cells. As a bioinformatician I analyze huge data sets like NGS and microarray data, generated by Whole Genome Bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) and Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) arrays. To process the data I apply various algorithms and visualization tools to generate relevant biological information. Combining this information with our institute’s expertise I would like to answer the following questions: Do germ cells age in the same way as somatic cells? What effects has germ cell ageing on male fertility? Is there a link between genetic and epigentic factors in male germ cell ageing?

Mirkka Hiort
MD student
Tel.: +49 (0)251 83 54831
E-Mail: Mirkka Hiort

My research work focuses on disorders of sex development, underlying mechanisms and the impact on the genetic, epigenetic and phenotypic state of those affected. In this multifaceted field, I use different approaches to find out more about the background of the rare condition we focus on. Through immunohistochemistry I want to analyze the tissue composition and evaluate alterations of tissue and cells. Furthermore, I use pyrosequencing to determine methylation patterns and find possible changes. As a medical student I am also delighted to work with patients and be involved in a clinical part of the project.

Sara Plutta
Master's student
Tel.: +49 (0)251 83 58651
E-Mail: Sara Plutta

I am a master's student and I am currently focusing on the evaluation of methylation patterns in genes that are associated with aging in sperm. Alterations in methylation levels of these genes might contribute to infertility in men. The aim is to find out whether aging associated differentially methylated regions (DMRs) vary among patients with normal and aberrant sperm parameters of the same age. Later this information can then be used to establish a model for age prediction in sperm.

Christina Müller
MD student
Tel.: +49 (0)251 83 54836
E-Mail: Christina Müller

As a medical student I am currently focusing on variant analyses of genes, which have previously been found to be FSH-dependent. For this I use a patient cohort for which whole genome exome data are available. By applying different algorithms I will search the candidate genes for the presence of severe variants as classified by several prediction programs. This project could identify the somatic contribution as a causative factor for male infertility. It is embedded into Project 7 “Deciphering the FSH signaling on spermatogenesis” of the Clinical Research Unit “Male Germ Cells”​ and links findings of this project to the genetic platform within the CRU (Project 1).​

Lisa Lahrmann
Tel.: +49 (0)251 83 58651
E-Mail: Lisa Lahrmann

Nicole Terwort
Tel.: +49 (0)251 83 58654  
E-Mail:Nicole Terwort