Kyle Orwig, PhD

  • Director, Fertility Preservation Program of UPMC
  • Professor, Departments of OB/GYN & Reproductive Sciences, Developmental
  • Professor, Developmental Biology and Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

    Education & Training

  • Graduate School – Oregon State University – PhD – Animal Sciences
  • Graduate School – Oregon State University – PhD – Biochemistry and Biophysics
Research Grants

NIH Grants:  R01, P01, T32

Research Summary

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 the University of Pittsburgh and is committed to translating lab bench discoveries to the clinic for diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of infertility. Ongoing research is focused on the development of stem cell therapies and gene therapies to treat infertility. As the former director of the Molecular Genetics and Developmental Biology graduate program and current director of the T32 training program on Reproductive Development from Gonads to Fetuses, Dr. Orwig is committed to the teaching mission of the institution. He has trained eight postdoctoral fellows, twenty-three PhD students, eight clinical fellows, two clinical residents, two medical students, and many college and high school students.

Representative Publications
  1. Fayomi A, Peters K, Sukhwani M, Valli-Pulaski H, Shetty G, Meistrich M, Houser L, Robertson N, Roberts V, Ramsey C, Hanna C, Hennebold J, Dobrinski I, Orwig KE. Autologous Grafting of Cryopreserved Prepubertal Rhesus Testis Produces Sperm and Offspring. Science. 2019; 363(6433): 1314-1319.
  2. Sakib S, Uchida A, Valenzuela-Leon P, Yu Y, Valli-Pulaski H, Orwig K, Ungrin M, Dobrinski I. Formation of organotypic testicular organoids in microwell culture. Biol Reprod 2019; 100(6):1648-1660.
  3. Corkum KS, Lautz TB, Johnson EK, Reimann MB, Walz AL, Lockart BA, Brannigan RE, Valli-Pulaski H, Orwig KE, Rowell EE. Testicular wedge biopsy for fertility preservation in children at significant risk for azoospermia after gonadotoxic therapy. J Ped Surg. 2019; 54(9):1901-1905.
  4. Valli-Pulaski H, Peters KA, Gassei K, Steimer SR, Sukhwani M, Hermann BP, Dwomor L, David S, Fayomi AP, Munyoki SK, Chu T, Chaudhry R, Cannon GM, Fox PJ, Jaffe TM, Sanfilippo JS, Menke MN, Lunenfeld E, Abofoul-Azab M, Sender LS, Messina J, Klimpel LM, Gosiengfiao Y, Rowell EE, Hsieh MH, Granberg CF, Reddy PP, Sandlow JI, Huleihel M and Orwig KE. Testicular tissue cryopreservation: 8 years of experience from a coordinated network of academic centers. Hum Reprod 2019; 34(6):966-977.
  5. Barnard EP, Dhar CP, Rothenberg SS, Menke MN, Witchel SF, Montano GT, Orwig KE, Valli-Pulaski H. Fertility Preservation Outcomes in Adolescent and Young Adult Feminizing Transgender Patients. Pediatrics 2019; pii: e20183943.
  6. Morimoto H, Kanatsu-Shinohara M, Orwig KE, Shinohara T. Expression and functional analyses of EPHA2 in mouse spermatogonial stem cells. Biol Reprod 2019; pii: ioz156. doi: 10.1093/biolre/ioz156. [Epub ahead of print].
  7. Garbuzov A, Pech MF, Hasegawa K, Sukhwani M, Zhang RJ, Orwig KE, Artandi SE. Purification of GFRa1+ and GFRa- Spermatogonial Stem Cells Reveals a Niche-Dependent Mechanism for Fate Determination. Stem Cell Reports 2018; 10:1-15
  8. 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 (riPSC90) from embryonic fibroblasts. Stem Cell Res 2017; 21:5-8.
  9. Gassei K, Sheng Y, Fayomi A, Mital P, Sukhwani M, Lin C-C, Peters KA, Althouse A, Valli H, Orwig KE. Ddx4-egfp transgenic rat model for the study of germline development and spermatogenesis. Biology of Reproduction 2017; 96:707-719.
  10. 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. Stem Cell Reports 2017; 9:1-13.