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. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Pech M, Garbuzov A, Hasegawa K, Sukhawani M, Zhang RJ, Benayoun BA, Brockman SA, Lin S, Brunet A, Orwig KE and Artandi SE. High telomerase is a hallmark of undifferentiated spermatogonia and is required for maintenance of male germline stem cells. Genes and Development 2015; 29:2420-2434.
  6. 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.  Cell Reports 2014; 7: 1284-1297.
  7. Valli H, Sukhwani M, Dovey SL, Peters KA, Donohue JN, Chu T, Marshall GR, Orwig KE. Fluorescence- and Magnetic-activated cell sorting strategies to isolate and enrich human spermatogonial stem cells. Fertility and Sterilility 2014; 102: 566–580.
  8. 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. Human Molecular Genetics 2014; 23: 3071-3084.
  9. 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.  Journal of Clinical Investigation 2013; 123:1833-1843.
  10. Shetty G, Uthamanthil RK, Zhou W, Shao SH, Weng CC, Tailor RC, Hermann BP, Orwig KE, and Meistrich ML. Hormone Suppression with GnRH Antagonist Promotes Spermatogenic Recovery from Transplanted Spermatogonial Stem Cells in Irradiated Cynomolgus Monkeys.  Andrology 2013; 1:886-898.
  11. 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. Fertil Steril 2013; 99:2045-2054. PMCID: PMC3672312.
  12. Zhang Z, Zhang S, Huang X, Orwig KE, Sheng Y. Rapid assembly of customized TALENs into multiple delivery systems. PLoS ONE. 2013; 8:e80281.