Pilsner travels to Moscow as part of Russian Science Foundation project

March 17, 2015

Richard Pilsner, Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, has recently been chosen as a scientific advisor for a three-year grant funded by the Russian Science Foundation. The study, led by Dr. Oleg Sergeyev of Chapaevsk Central Hospital in Chapaevsk, Russia, is examining the relationship between exposure to pollutants and sperm quality.

The researchers on the project will select 108 young men from Chapaevsk who had varying degrees of exposure to pollutants ranging from low to high levels.

“Children in Chapaevsk are often exposed to high levels of dioxin pollutants as a result of environmental contamination from a large complex of chemical plants in the city,” notes Pilsner.

As part of the grant, Pilsner journeyed to Moscow in December 2014, spending three days at Dr. Evgeny Rogaev’s laboratory at the Vavilov Institute of General Genetic training his Russian colleagues in sperm epigenetic laboratory techniques. Rogaev, who holds a joint position with the UMass Medical School and Russian Academy of Sciences, will incorporate the training to analyze sperm epigenetics collected from the study. While in Russia, Pilsner gave two oral presentations at the Russian Science Foundation workshop entitled “Toxicology, Epigenetics and Reproduction”.  Alexander Suvorov, Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, also provided a web-based presentation at the workshop. 

As scientific advisor, Dr. Pilsner plans to travel to Russia once a year for the duration of the grant.