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

  • Fayomi AP, Orwig KE. Spermatogonial stem cells and spermatogenesis in mice, monkeys and men. 2018. Stem Cell Res. 29:207-214. PUBMED
  • Garbuzov A, Pech MF, Hasegawa K, Sukhwani M, Zhang RJ, Orwig KE, Artandi SE. Purification of GFRα1+ and GFRα1- Spermatogonial Stem Cells Reveals a Niche-Dependent Mechanism for Fate Determination. 2018. Stem Cell Reports. 2:553-567. PUBMED
  • Clark AT, Gkountela S, Chen D, Liu W, Sosa E, Sukhwani M, Hennebold JD, Orwig KE. Primate Primordial Germ Cells Acquire Transplantation Potential by Carnegie Stage 23. 2017. Stem Cell Reports. 1:329-341. PUBMED
  • Gassei K, Sheng Y, Fayomi A, Mital P, Sukhwani M, Lin CC, Peters KA, Althouse A, Valli H, Orwig KE. DDX4-EGFP transgenic rat model for the study of germline development and spermatogenesis. 2017. Biol Reprod. 3:707-719. PUBMED
  • Gassei K, Orwig KE. Experimental methods to preserve male fertility and treat male factor infertility. 2016. Fertil Steril. 2:256-266. PUBMED
  • Ramathal C, Angulo B, Sukhwani M, Cui J, Durruthy-Durruthy J, Fang F, Schanes P, Turek PJ, Orwig KE, Reijo Pera R. DDX3Y gene rescue of a Y chromosome AZFa deletion restores germ cell formation and transcriptional programs. 2015. Sci Rep. 5:15041. doi: 10.1038/srep15041. 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. 2:566-580. PUBMED
  • Durruthy Durruthy J, Ramathal C, Sukhwani M, Fang F, Cui J, Orwig KE, Reijo Pera RA. Fate of induced pluripotent stem cells following transplantation to murine seminiferous tubules. 2014. Hum Mol Genet. 12:3071-3084. PUBMED
  • Dovey SL, Valli H, Hermann BP, Sukhwani M, Donohue J, Castro CA, Chu T, Sanfilippo JS, Orwig KE. Eliminating malignant contamination from therapeutic human spermatogonial stem cells. 2013. 4:1833-1843. PUBMED
  • Skaznik-Wikiel ME, McGuire MM, Sukhwani M, Donohue J, Chu T, Krivak TC, Rajkovic A, Orwig KE. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor with or without stem cell factor extends time to premature ovarian insufficiency in female mice treated with alkylating chemotherapy. 2013. Fertil Steril. 7:2045-2054. PUBMED
  • Gassei K, Orwig KE. SALL4 expression in gonocytes and spermatogonial clones of postnatal mouse testes. 2013. 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. Spermatogonial stem cell transplantation into rhesus testes regenerates spermatogenesis producing functional sperm. 2012. Cell Stem Cell. 5:715-726. PUBMED

For additional publications, see:


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.