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J. Richard Pilsner

Assistant Professor

Research areas include reproductive health and environmental epigenetics.

Current Research
Our research intersects environmental toxicology, epidemiology and reproductive health with a particular emphasis on epigenetic mechanisms. Specifically, we aim to understand the role of sperm epigenetics as a mechanism linking paternal environmental exposures to reproductive and subsequent offspring health. The centerpiece of this research is the population-based study, Sperm Environmental Epigenetics and Development Study (SEEDS). This study, in collaboration with Baystate Reproductive Medicine at Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, MA, investigates the associations between paternal environmental exposure (e.g., endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs)), sperm epigenetics and reproductive health indices such as sperm quality and embryo development among 250 subfertile couples seeking in vitro fertilization (IVF). In parallel with the goals of SEEDS, research is also focused on advancing methodological approaches for sperm epigenetics research. To complement our human research, we are also investigating the role of paternal environmental exposures on sperm epigenetics in rodent model systems.

Learn more at jrichardpilsner.com

Academic Background

  • BA Hamline University, 1995
  • MPH Columbia University, 2004
  • PhD Columbia University, 2007
Wu H, Estill M, Shershebnev A, Suvorov A, Krawetz SA, Whitcomb BW, Sites C, Rahil T, and Pilsner JR. Preconception urinary phthalate concentrations and sperm DNA methylation profiles among men undergoing IVF treatment: a cross-sectional study. Human Reproduction. 2017 Sep 12:1-11.
Wu H, Ashcraft L, Whitcomb BW, Rahil T, Tougais E, Sites CK, and Pilsner, JR. Parental contributions to early embryo development: influences of urinary phthalate and phthalate alternatives among couples undergoing in-vitro fertilization treatment. Human Reproduction. 2017 Jan;32(1):65-75.
Wu H, Hauser R, Krawetz SA, and Pilsner JR. Environmental susceptibility of the sperm epigenome during windows of male germ cell development. Current Environmental Health Reports. 2015 Dec;2(4):356-66.
Wu H, de Gannes M, Luchetti G, and Pilsner JR. Rapid method for the isolation of mammalian sperm DNA. BioTechniques. 2015 June;58(6):293-300.
 
Contact Info

Department of Environmental Health Sciences
149F Goessmann Laboratory
686 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003

(413) 545-0036
rpilsner@schoolph.umass.edu

jrichardpilsner.com