Stephen A. Krawetz, Ph.D., recently served on a panel at the Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything Festival titled “Fertility’s New Frontier: Fertility Breakthroughs and Building the Family of the Future.” Krawetz, associate director of the C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development, and Charlotte B. Failing, professor of fetal therapy and diagnosis in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, talked about his research on the diagnostic potential of sperm RNAs as makers of fertility and health of the father and his offspring.
Krawetz’s research has established that the fitness of the male contribution reflects the relative diversity of sperm RNAs that continually respond to the environment. These RNAs may provide an essential component to early post-fertilization events, acting as genetic and epigenetic impactors of the fetal onset of adult disease. They are a time stamp of the physical and reproductive health of the father, providing the opportunity to develop a personalized blueprint promoting the birth and healthy life of his children.
Krawetz served on a panel with Rene Almeling (Yale University), Daisy Robinton (Oviva Therapeutics), Angela Stepancic (Reproductive Village Cryobank) and host Amy Marcus (Wall Street Journal), who posed a series of questions. Each member offered a complementary perspective of a couple’s reproductive health and building a family.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to reach out and share what the future may bring as we give back to the community,” said Krawetz. He joined the panel discussion imagining what the future will bring “as innovation continues to drive non-invasive personalized precision health diagnostics, and we describe the quality of the male contribution to the birth of a healthy child,” he said. “Consider how this will lift the burden of the comparatively well-diagnosed female when the responsibility for the birth of a healthy child is now more equally divided.”
Krawetz observed that this research should improve fertility rates among couples trying to conceive.
“When male fertility status can be known, those couples previously diagnosed with infertility of unknown cause will immediately feel the impact,” he said. “In some cases, the problem can be corrected with minimal intervention by just taking the time.”