F. Kent Hamra, PhD

The principal investigator, Dr. Kent Hamra, is a leading expert on the biology and applications of sperm stem cells in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Cecil H. and Ida Green Center for Reproductive Biology Sciences, at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Dr. Hamra’s research emphasis is on establishing spermiogenetic technologies that will facilitate the translation of research aimed at clinically regulating and curing disease processes.

Dr. Hamra’s science background stems from his pre-doctoral training with Dr. Mark G. Currie at Monsanto Co. Research, where they worked to discover and develop new drugs that block inflammation, reduce blood pressure and control intestinal function.  Dr. Hamra earned his PhD in pharmacology at the University of Missouri-Columbia with Dr. Leonard R. Forte, where they discovered and elucidated the structure of Uroguanylin (Guca2B) as a peptide hormone that regulates fluid and metabolite transport by cells. Drugs that modulate Uroguanylin activity are currently being developed to target disease processes in gastrointestinal, renal/cardiovascular, pulmonary and neurological systems.

Dr. Hamra conducted his postdoctoral training in Dr. David L. Garbers’ laboratory at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where he invented methods to culture rat spermatogonial stem cells (ie, sperm stem cells), prior to starting his own lab and inventing what are currently the most robust conditions for culturing and genetically modifying rat spermatogonial stem cells. Dr. Hamra’s work on spermatogonial biology and spermiogenetic technologies provided the foundation for his numerous peer-reviewed publications, patents, national and international presentations, invitations to serve on NIH scientific advisory boards and commercialization of NIH-sponsored research.