Gamete and Embryo Research Laboratory

Denny Sakkas, Ph.D.

Our laboratories consist of the clinical IVF laboratories at the Yale University School of Medicine and basic research laboratories which investigate various aspects of reproduction.

Current research projects:

  • The role of DNA repair mechanisms during aging of the female and male gametes is one of the main areas of research. In particular we are trying to understand why human oocytes loose their capability to be viable with age and why they are more prone to chromosomal abnormalities. This research is aimed at both the basic and clinical level.
  • Understanding the presence of nuclear DNA damage in the spermatozoa of men with poor semen parameters. Our research in this area involves examining the role apoptosis during spermatogenesis and why ejaculated spermatozoa from men with poor semen parameters show variable levels of apoptotic proteins in their sperm compared to men with normal semen parameters. We are also interested in what the consequences of using these sperm to fertilize eggs are on the developing embryo and ensuing fetus.
  • Examining for markers of preimplantation embryos which help to predict subsequent viability. The markers we are interested in are non-invasive and range from metabolic to specific morphological indicators.
  • The role of glucose during gamete fusion. In particular how glucose metabolism in sperm prior to fertilization prepares sperm for entering into the oocyte.