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Marvin L. Meistrich, Ph.D.

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Professor, Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology, Division of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Research Interests

  Dr. Meistrich’s research interests are currently focused on the male reproductive system and how cancer therapy, environmental agents, or genetic mutations affect that process. 

Exposure to these agents not only kills spermatogonial stem cells but affect the ability of the testis tissue to support differentiation. This occurs in a variety of mammalian species, this differentiation block is most apparent in the rat. He is currently working on elucidating the genes that are responsible for the block in spermatogonial differentiation after exposure to anticancer agents using radiation as a model. 

His laboratory is using several approaches. Since androgen suppression alleviates the radiation-induced block in spermatogonial differentiation, they have identified a group of genes that are upregulated by irradiation and downregulated by androgen ablation as candidates for the regulating the differentiation block. Currently they are administering siRNA in vivo to modulate levels of expression to determine if these genes are indeed the cause of the block. They have recently developed a tissue culture system to investigate spermatogonial differentiation in mouse testes and are applying it to irradiated rats.

They are also utilizing genetic approaches, taking advantage of the large differences in sensitivity of rat strains to this radiation-induced block, and used recombinant inbred rats to identify a region of rat chromosome 6 as containing a locus involved. Congenic rats are being used to confirm this localization and further narrow down the locus. Transgenic, knockdown, or knockout rats are planned to further investigate the pathways by which these genes regulate spermatogonial differentiation.

Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

1967 Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, PHD, Solid State Physics
1962 Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst. B.S, Troy, NY, BS, Physics

Postgraduate Training

1969-1972 Res Associate, Medical Biophysics, Ontario Cancer Institute, Toronto, Canada, Dr. W. Robert Bruce
1967-1969 Postdoctoral, Radiation Biology, Bell Telephone Laboratories, Murray Hill,, NJ, Dr. Robert G Shulman


Academic Appointments

Professor, Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology, Division of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 1977-1983
Associate Biophysicist, Experimental Radiotherapy, Division of Radiotherapy, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 1977-1983
Assistant Biophysicist, Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology, Division of Radiotherapy, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 1972-1977
Assistant Professor, Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology, Division of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 1972-1977
Lecturer, Department of Medical Biophysics, Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, 1971-1972

Administrative Appointments/Responsibilities

Program Director (authorized GSBS program), Reproductive Biology, Biomedical Sciences, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Houston, 1992-2003

Other Appointments/Responsibilities

Distinguished Senior Lecturer, University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Science at Houston, Houston, TX, 2012-present
Member, University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Science at Houston, Houston, TX, 1972-2012
Workshop: Assessment of Risks to Human Reproduction and to Development of the Human Conceptus from Exposure to Environmental Substances, United States Environmental Protection Agency, 1/1980

Endowed Positions

Florence M. Thomas Professor of Cancer Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 2002-2012
Ashbel Smith Professor, Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology, Experimental Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 1996-2001


Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, 2001-2003
National Council on Radiation Protection, 1991-2000
Environmental Protection Agency, 1991

Institutional Committee Activities

Member, Faculty Senate, 2007-2010

Honors and Awards

2009-present Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Association for Advancement of Science
1998 Fogarty Senior International Fellowship
1993 GSBS Dean's Excellence Award
1982 American Cancer Society Scholarship
1965 Phi Kappa Phi Scholastic Honor Society, Cornell University

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

1. Shetty G, Uthamanthil RK, Zhou W, Shao SH, Weng CC, Tailor RC, Hermann BP, Orwig KE, Meistrich ML. Hormone suppression with GnRH antagonist promotes spermatogenic recovery from transplanted spermatogonial stem cells in irradiated cynomolgus monkeys. Andrology 1(6):886-98, 2013. PMID: 24124124.
2. Abuelhija M, Weng CC, Shetty G, Meistrich ML. Rat models of post-irradiation recovery of spermatogenesis:interstrain differences. Andrology 1(2):206-15, 2013. PMCID: PMC3578348.
3. Zhou W, Bolden-Tiller OU, Shetty G, Shao SH, Weng CC, Pakarinen P, Liu Z, Stivers DN, Meistrich ML. Changes in gene expression in somatic cells of rat testes resulting from hormonal modulation and radiation-induced germ cell depletion. Biol Reprod 82(1):54-65, 2010. PMCID: PMC2802113.
4. Zhou W, Wang G, Small CL, Liu Z, Weng CC, Yang L, Griswold MD, Meistrich ML. Gene expression alterations by conditional knockout of androgen receptor in adult Sertoli cells of Utp14bjsd/jsd (jsd) mice. Biol Reprod 83(5):759-66, 2010. PMCID: PMC3071269.
5. Shin Y-.H Choi Y, Erdin SU, Yatsenko SA, Kloc M, Yang F, Wang PJ, Meistrich ML, Rajkovic A. Hormad1 mutation disrupts synaptonemal complex formation, recombination, and chromosome segregation in mammalian meiosis. PLoS Genet 6(11):E101190, 2010.
6. Wang G, Weng CC, Shao SH, Zhou W, de Gendt K, Braun RE, Verhoeven G, Meistrich ML. Androgen receptor in Sertoli cells is not required for testosterone-induced suppression of spermatogenesis, but contributes to Sertoli cell organization in Utp14b jsd mice. J Androl 30(3):338-348 ("Cover Illustration"), 2009. PMCID: PMC2797546.
7. Zhang Z, Shao S, Shetty G, Meistrich ML. Donor Sertoli cells transplanted into irradiated rat testes stimulate partial recovery of endogenous spermatogenesis. Reproduction 137(3):497-508, 2009. PMID: 19036951.
8. Porter KL, Shetty G, Shuttlesworth GA, Weng CC, Huhtaniemi I, Pakarinen P, Meistrich ML. Estrogen enhances recovery from radiation-induced spermatogonial arrest in rat testes. J Androl 30(4):440-451, 2009. PMID: 19136390.
9. de Mateo S, Gázquez C, Guimerà M, Balasch J, Meistrich ML, Ballescà JL, Oliva R. Protamine 2 precursors (Pre-P2), protamine 1 to protamine 2 ratio (P1/P2), and assisted reproduction outcome. Fertil Steril 91(3):715-722, 2009. PMID: 18314125.
10. Rose KL, Li A, Zalenskaya I, Zhang Y, Unni E, Hodgson KC, Yu Y, Shabanowitz J, Meistrich ML, Hunt DF, Ausio´ J. C-Terminal phosphorylation of murine testis-specific histone H1t in elongating spermatids. J Proteome Res 7(9):4070-4078, 2008. PMID: 18698803.
11. Bolden-Tiller OU, Chiarini-Garcia H, Poirier C, Alves-Freitas D, Weng CC, Shetty G, Meistrich ML. Genetic factors contributing to defective spermatogonial differentiation in juvenile spermatogonial depletion (Utp14bjsd) mice. Biol Reprod 77(2):237-46, 2007. PMID: 17475932.
12. Bhattacharya C, Aggarwal S, Zhu R, Kumar M, Zhao M, Meistrich ML, Matin A. The mouse dead-end gene isoform alpha is necessary for germ cell and embryonic viability. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 355(1):194-9, 2007. PMID: 17291453.
13. Zhang Z, Shao S, Meistrich ML. The radiation-induced block in spermatogonial differentiation is due to damage to the somatic environment, not the germ cells. J Cell Physiol 211(1):149-58, 2007. PMID: 17167785.
14. Zhao M, Rohozinski J, Sharma M, Ju J, Braun RE, Bishop CE, Meistrich ML. Utp14b: A unique retrogene within a gene that has acquired multiple promoters and a specific function in spermatogenesis. Dev Biol 304(2):848-59, 2007. PMCID: PMC1910592.
15. Shetty G, Weng CC, Meachem SJ, Bolden-Tiller OU, Zhang Z, Pakarinen P, Huhtaniemi I, Meistrich ML. Both testosterone and follicle-stimulating hormone independently inhibit spermatogonial differentiation in irradiated rats. Endocrinology 147(1):472-82, 2006. PMID: 16210366.
16. Zhang Z, Shao S, Meistrich ML. Irradiated mouse testes efficiently support spermatogenesis derived from donor germ cells of mice and rats. J Androl 27(3):365-75 ("Cover Illustration"), 2006. PMID: 16339450.
17. Liebe B, Petukhova G, Barchi M, Bellani M, Braselmann H, Nakano T, Pandita TK, Jasin M, Fournace A, Meistrich ML, Maarends WM, Schimenti J, de Lange T, Keeney S, Camerini-Otero RD, Sherthan H. Mutations that affect meiosis in male mice influence by dynamics of the mid-preleptotene and bouquet stages. Exp Cell Res 312:3768-3776, 2006.
18. Torregrosa N, Dominguez-Fandos D, Camejo MI, Shirley CR, Meistrich ML, Ballesca JL, Oliva R. Protamine 2 precursors, protamine 1/protamine 2 ratio, DNA integrity and other sperm parameters in infertile patients. Hum Reprod 21(8):2084-9, 2006. PMID: 16632464.
19. Ballow D, Meistrich ML, Matzuk M, Rajkovic A. Sohlh1 is essential for spermatogonial differentiation. Dev Biol 294(1):161-7, 2006. PMID: 16564520.
20. Shetty G, Weng CC, Porter KL, Zhang Z, Pakarinen P, Kumar TR, Meistrich ML. Spermatogonial differentiation in juvenile spermatogonial depletion (jsd) mice with androgen receptor or follicle-stimulating hormone mutations. Endocrinology 147(7):3563-70, 2006. PMID: 16627582.
21. Porter KL, Shetty G, Meistrich ML. Testicular edema is associated with spermatogonial arrest in irradiated rats. Endocrinology 147(3):1297-305, 2006. PMID: 16306082.
22. Suganuma R, Yanagimachi R, Meistrich ML. Decline in fertility of mouse sperm with abnormal chromatin during epididymal passage as revealed by ICSI. Hum Reprod 20(11):3101-8, 2005. PMID: 16037114.
23. Boekelheide K, Schoenfeld HA, Hall SJ, Weng CC, Shetty G, Leith J, Harper J, Sigman M, Hess DL, Meistrich ML. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist (Cetrorelix) therapy fails to protect nonhuman primates (Macaca arctoides) from radiation-induced spermatogenic failure. J Androl 26(2):222-34, 2005. PMID: 15713828.
24. Maclean JA, 2nd, Chen MA, Wayne CM, Bruce SR, Rao M, Meistrich ML, Macleod C, Wilkinson MF. Rhox: a new homeobox gene cluster. Cell 120(3):369-82, 2005. PMID: 15707895.
25. Wang RA, Zhao M, Meistrich ML, Kumar R. Stage-specific expression of dynein light chain-1 and its interacting kinase, p21-activated kinase-1, in rodent testes: implications in spermiogenesis. J Histochem Cytochem 53(10):1235-43, 2005. PMID: 15983119.

Invited Articles

1. Valli H, Phillips BT, Shetty G, Byrne JA, Clark AT, Meistrich ML, Orwig KE. Germline stem cells: toward the regeneration of spermatogenesis. Fertil Steril 101(1):3-13, 2014. PMID: 24314923.
2. Meistrich ML. Effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy on spermatogenesis in humans. Fertil Steril 100(5):1180-1186, 2013. PMCID: PMC3826884.
3. Meistrich ML. Male gonadal toxicity. Pediatr Blood Cancer 53(2):261-6, 2009.
4. Meistrich M, Shetty G. Hormonal suppression for fertility preservation in males and females. Reproduction 136(6):691-702, 2008. PMID: 18515310.


1. Meistrich ML, Huhtaniemi IT. 'Andrology'- The new journal of the American Society of Andrology and the European Academy of Andrology. Int J Androl 35(2):107-108, 2012. PMID: 22413740.
2. Meistrich ML, Carrell DT. Evolution of the Journal of Andrology and a bright future for "Andrology". J Androl. 33(6):1119-1124, 2012. PMID: 22879530.

Book Chapters

1. Dickstein RJ, Shetty G, Meistrich ML. Application of spermatogenesis suppression therapies for fertility preservation. In: Fertility Preservation in Male Cancer Patients. Ed(s) Mulhall JP, Applegarth LD, Oates RD, Schlegel PN. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 203-212, 2013.
2. Kuban DA, Cheung MR, Hussey DH, Meistrich ML. The Testicle. In: Radiation Oncology: Rationale, Technique, Results. Ed(s) Cox JD, Ang KK. Mosby-Elsevier: Philadelphia, PA, 653-675, 2010.
3. Meistrich ML. Effects of antineoplastic and other medical treatments on sperm production. In: Sperm Banking: Theory and Practice. Ed(s) AA Pacey, MJ Tomlinson. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK, 18-30, 2009. ISBN: 97805215-611282.
4. Chiarini-Garcia H, Meistrich ML. High-resolution light microscopic characterization of spermatogonia. In: Methods Mol Biol. 450, 95-107, 2008. ISBN: 18370053.

Grant & Contract Support

Title: Optimizing Spermatogonial Transplantation for Fertility Preservation
Funding Source: NIH/NICHD
Role: Co-Investigator
Principal Investigator: Shetty G
Duration: 9/3/2009 - 8/31/2011
Title: Activation of Spermatogenic Recovery after Toxic Insult
Funding Source: NIH/NIEHS
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 5/1/2009 - 9/30/2010
Title: Reversal of Spermatogonial Arrest in Mice
Funding Source: NIH/NICHD
Role: Co-Investigator
Principal Investigator: Shetty
Duration: 3/1/2008 - 1/31/2014
Title: Activation of Spermatogenic Recovery after Toxic Insult
Funding Source: NIH/NIEHS
Role: Co-Investigator
Principal Investigator: Shetty
Duration: 6/1/2007 - 3/31/2013

Last updated: 5/7/2015