Concept of the CRU326 Male Germ Cells: from Genes to Function
To date, infertile men are put into distinct and partially arbitrary categories such as 'oligozoospermia'. In contrast, our vision is to phenotype each patient in depth and identify specific causes of his infertility. This personalised approach will, subsequently, allow for individualised treatment. To achieve this comprehensive view, a number of tools and topics need to be taken into account and are central to this clinical research unit - as indicated in the pictogram.
- We employ OMICs building on shared availability of data and samples, namely epi-/genetics, (single cell) transcriptomics, and pharmacogenetics.
- Multidisciplinarity is the keystone to tap the respective expertise and, thus, make it available across institutions and disciplines. A concrete measure is the perpetuation of the multidisciplinary case conferences.
- Special consultations for 'Unexplained Male Infertility' (CeRA), 'PCD and Infertility' (DGP), and 'Reproductive Genetics' (IHG) within the highly interconnected setting of this clinical research unit have been established and will be sustained.
- Novel andrological parameters including several non-standard tests (extended hormone profiles, DNA fragmentation index), semi-automated spermmorphology analysis, a CatSper-Activity-Test as well as data and DNA collection of family members will allow deep phenotyping of infertile men.
These measures taken together will significantly increase the rate of causal diagnoses. Thus, main added value of the CRU326 will be the multi-faceted, integrated approach to male infertility, creating a sustained impact on research and clinic alike.