New York Medical College

Kutluk Oktay, M.D., FACOG

Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Medicine, and Cell Biology & Anatomy, Director, Division of Reproductive Medicine & Institute for Fertility Preservation

Kutluk Oktay Research Interests:

  • Improving ovarian transplantation success:As a clinical research team we have developed and performed the world’s first ovarian transplantation procedures with cryopreserved tissue. This offers great hope for fertility preservation for young cancer patients. However, the success of ovarian transplantation is limited due to low survival of primordial follicles during the initial ischemic phase following grafting. My laboratory showed for the first time that a sphingolipid named S1P accelerates revascularization of ovarian transplants in a human ovarian xenografts and enables larger number of follicles survive (Soleimani et al PLoS ONE 2011). This may revitalize the field of ovarian cryopreservation and transplantation. We are currently pursuing clinical translation of our findings.

  • Both the infertility rates and aneuploidy increase in aging human oocytes. This decline is collectively referred to as alteration of oocyte quality. We have recently shown that women with BRCA mutations may have accelerated ovarian aging (Oktay et al J Clin Oncol 2010). BRCA 1 and 2 are double strand DNA break (DSB) repair genes. Currently we are investigating the molecular mechanisms of this association using single human mouse oocytes, real time PCR and microarray technologies as well as transgenic mouse models.

  • Many chemotherapy agents are associated with premature ovarian failure and infertility (Oktem and Oktay Cancer 2008). The mechanism of this damage is not clearly understood in humans. In my laboratory we are investigating the impact of these agents on DNA and the ability of DNA repair pathways, specifically ATM/ATR-mediated, to repair such damage using in vitro and human ovarian xenograft models.

  • In clinical studies we are investigating impact of chemotherapy agents on ovarian reserve using a sensitive ovarian reserve marker AMH.