Dr. Peter Schlegel, MD, FACS, James J. Colt Professor and Chairman of Urology and Professor of Reproductive Medicine at The Weill Cornell Medical College. He holds the position of Staff Scientist at The Population Council, Center for Biomedical Research and is a Visiting Associate Physician at The Rockefeller University Hospital. He is Urologist-in-Chief at The New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Schlegel is an internationally recognized expert in the diagnosis and treatment of male infertility. His studies focus on the importance of genetic factors in male infertility and the definition of the characteristics of men who are candidates for sperm retrieval, He has published extensively on microsurgical treatment of infertile men, described novel techniques for sperm retrieval for assisted reproduction, and identified the factors that affect the successful achievement of pregnancy after sperm retrieval.
Dr. Schlegel was awarded the 1996 Established Clinician Award by The European Society for Human Reproduction & Embryology, and a fellowship by the Royal College of Surgeons in 1992. He has been listed in Castle Connolly's "Best Doctors" Guide since 1999 as well as other national "Best Doctor" lists. He received the Barringer Medal from the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons for his outstanding contributions to the field of Andrology in 2012.
Early in his career, Dr. Schlegel worked with pioneers in the field of urology and male reproductive function. With Dr. Fray Marshall and Dr. Patrick Walsh at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. Schlegel worked as a resident in general surgery and urology. During that time, Dr. Schlegel established some of the anatomical basis that was necessary to develop the contemporary procedure of radical prostatectomy that is used to treat localized prostate cancer. Dr. Schlegel was granted a research scholarship from the American Foundation for Urological Disease/American Urological Association in 1989 and completed his fellowship in the area of male infertility and reproductive function with the guidance of Dr. Marc Goldstein and Dr. Wayne Bardin at The Population Council and at Cornell Medical Center in 1991.
Dr. Schlegel was co-editor of the Journal of Andrology and currently serves or has previously served on editorial boards of the medical journals, British Journal of Urology-International, Journal of Urology (Investigative Section), Techniques in Urology, Journal of Andrology, and FertiliText. He is currently Co-Editor of the Journal of Andrology. He was the Edwin A. Beer Program award recipient of The New York Academy of Medicine, 1996-98, and received a New Investigator Award from the American Foundation for Urologic Diseases, 1993-95. Dr. Schlegel has served in a leadership role of several national infertility organizations, including as a Council member for the American Society of Andrology, Board of Directors, Secretary, and Vice-President of the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, as well as serving as Secretary, Vice President and President of the Society for Study of Male Reproduction of the AUA. He has served on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and is a trustee of the American Board of Urology.
For more information on Dr. Schlegel's research and clinical activities, please visit his website.
A new study from Andrew Grimson's lab, in collaboration with Paula Cohen's lab, has identified a key pathway required for maintenance of sex chromosome telomere integrity. Using conditional knockout mice for Dicer and Dgcr8, two key enzymes required for small RNA processing, Modzelewski et al (2015) show that loss of small RNAs during prophase I leads to telomere fusion events specifically involving the X and Y chromosomes. For further information, see the May edition of Journal of Cell Science
A recent publication by Dabaja et al (2015) has identified key cell:cell interactions that are necessary to establish normal profiles of one key microRNA, miR202-5p, in Sertoli cells. This is the first example of a germ cell regulatory interaction that is necessary for miR expression in neighboring somatic cells of the testis
The lab of Center member John Schimenti recently identified the DNA damage checkpoint pathway responsible for culling oocytes that fail to repair double stranded breaks (DSBs) that occur during meiosis or which arise in a female's oocyte pool (Bolcun-Filas et al, Science 343:533-536, 2014). Using combinations of mutants involved in recombination and DNA damage responses, they found that this pathway involves signaling of checkpoint kinase 2 (CHK2) to both p53 and p63. Disruption of this checkpoint pathway restored fertility to females that normally would be deficient of all oocytes due to defects in meiotic recombination or exposure to radiation. This discovery opens the way to using available CHK2 inhibitors to protect the oocytes of women undergoing cancer therapy that would normally cause infertility.