Kyle Orwig, PhD

Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine



Research in the Orwig laboratory ( focuses on stem cells, germ lineage development, fertility and infertility. Our progress investigating reproductive function in fertile individuals provides a basis for understanding the mechanisms of infertility caused by disease, medical treatments, genetic defects or aging. Infertility impacts one in seven couples in the United States and can have a devastating impact on relationships and emotional well-being. The Orwig lab is ideally located in Magee-Womens Research Institute and Magee-Womens Hospital of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and is committed to translating lab bench discoveries to the clinic for diagnosis, prevention and treatment of infertility.


Selected Publications

  • Sosa E, Kim R, Rojas EJ, Hosohama L, Hennebold JD, Orwig KE, Clark AT. An integration-free, virus-free rhesus macaque induced pluripotent stem cell line (riPSC89) from embryonic fibroblasts. 2016. Stem Cell Res. 2:444-447. PUBMED
  • Panula S, Reda A, Stukenborg JB, Ramathal C, Sukhwani M, Albalushi H, Edsgärd D, Nakamura M, Söder O, Orwig KE, Yamanaka S, Reijo Pera RA, Hovatta O. Over Expression of NANOS3 and DAZL in Human Embryonic Stem Cells. 2016. PLos One. 11(10):e0165268. PUBMED
  • Song HW, Bettegowda A, Lake BB, Zhao AH, Skarbrevik D, Babajanian E, Sukhwani M, Shum EY, Phan MH, Plank TD, Richardson ME, Ramaiah M, Sridhar V, de Rooij DG, Orwig KE, Zhang K, Wilkinson MF. The Homeobox Transcription Factor RHOX10 Drives Mouse Spermatogonial Stem Cell Establishment. 2016. Cell Reports. 1:149-64. PUBMED
  • Gassei K, Orwig KE.  Experimental methods to preserve male fertility and treat male factor infertility. 2016. Fertil Steril. 2:556-566. PUBMED
  • Pech MF, Garbuzov A, Hasegawa K, Sukhwani M, Zhang RJ, Benayoun BA,  Brockman SA, Lin S, Brunet A, Orwig KE, Artandi SE. High telomerase is a hallmark of undifferentiated spermatogonia and is required for maintenance of male germline stem cells. 2015. Genes Dev. 23:2420-2434. PUBMED
  • Ramathal C, Angulo B, Sukhwani M, Cui J, Durruthy-Durruthy J,  Fang F, Schanes P, Turek PJ, Orwig KE, Reijo Pera RA. DDX3Y gene rescue of a Y chromosome AZFa deletion restores germ cell formation and transcriptional programs. 2015. Sci Rep. 5:15041. PUBMED
  • Gassei K, Valli H, Orwig KE. Whole-mount immunohistochemistry to study spermatogonial stem cells and spermatogenic lineage development in mice, monkeys, and humans. 2014. Methods Mol Biol. 1210:193-202. PUBMED
  • Valli H, Sukhwani M, Dovey SL, Peters KA, Donohue J, Castro CA, Chu T, Marshall GR, Orwig KE. Fluorescence- and magnetic-activated cell sorting strategies to isolate and enrich human spermatogonial stem cells. 2014. Fertil Steril. 102(2):566-580. PUBMED
  • Ramathal C, Durruthy Durruthy J, Sukhwani M, Arakaki JE, Turek PJ, Orwig KE, Reijo Pera RA. Fate of iPSCs derived from azoospermic and fertile men following xenotransplantation to murine seminiferous tubules. 2014. Cell Rep. 7(4):1284-97. PUBMED
  • Valli H, Phillips BT, Shetty G, Byrne JA, Clark AT, Meistrich ML, Orwig KE. Germline stem cells: toward the regeneration of spermatogenesis. 2014. Fertil Steril 101(1):3-13. PUBMED
  • Dovey SL, Valli H, Hermann BP, Sukhwani M, Donohue J, Castro CA, Chu T, Sanfilippo JS, Orwig KE. 2013. Eliminating malignant contamination from therapeutic human spermatogonial stem cells. J Clin Invest 123(4):1833-43 PUBMED
  • Gassei K and Orwig KE. 2013. Sall4 expression in gonocytes and spermatogonial clones of postnatal mouse testes. PLoS One. 8(1):e53976. PUBMED
  • Hermann BP, Sukhwani M, Winkler F, Pascarella JN, Peters KA, Sheng Y, Valli H, Rodriguez M, Ezzelarab M, Dargo G, Peterson K, Masterson K, Ramsey C, Ward T, Lienesch M, Volk A, Cooper DK, Thomson AW, Kiss JE, Penedo MC, Schatten GP, Mitalipov S, Orwig KE. 2012. Spermatogonial stem cell transplantation into rhesus testes regenerates spermatogenesis producing functional sperm. Cell Stem Cell 11(5):715-26. PUBMED

For additional publications, see: (Pubmed or other online collection) k not orwig ks


Services & Programs

The Genome Editing, Transgenic and Virus Core Facility of Magee-Womens Research Institute provides state-of-the-art services for generating transgenic mice/rats and knockout mice. The facility also produces replication defective lentiviral vectors for delivering recombinant transgenes and performs teratoma and chimera analyses to evaluate stem cell developmental potential.

The Fertility Preservation Program of Pittsburgh educates patients and their physicians about the reproductive consequences of chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer or other conditions while developing pioneering reproductive technologies to preserve fertility. The program rapidly translates these state-of-the-art technologies to the clinic, and trains the next generation of clinicians and researchers in the rapidly evolving discipline of fertility preservation.