The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) announced that Ranjith Ramasamy, M.D., associate professor and director of reproductive urology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is the Society’s 2020 Ira And Ester Rosenwaks New Investigator Award recipient.
The New Investigator Award is among the most important by ASRM, a global leader in multidisciplinary reproductive medicine research, ethical practice, and education. It recognizes an ASRM member who has made outstanding contributions to clinical or basic research in reproductive sciences published within 10 years of completing fellowship training. Like Dr. Ramasamy, individual award recipients since 2006 have made original research contributions greatly impacting the field.
“The caliber and breadth of your investigations at this early stage of your career are noteworthy and significant and truly merit this recognition,” wrote ASRM President Catherine Racowsky, Ph.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Harvard Medical School.
“It means a lot that my contributions to reproductive medicine in my first six years and the work we have done here at the Miller School in research and patient care have been meaningful enough to get this validation by ASRM,” Dr. Ramasamy said. “It’s a huge honor.”
Dr. Ramasamy’s research in reproductive medicine has implications for men with fertility issues, suffering from a condition called testosterone deficiency or low testosterone. When men with testosterone deficiency take testosterone therapy, their fertility worsens, and they become infertile.
“We have shifted the paradigm for treatment of men with infertility and testosterone deficiency. We have discovered that short-acting testosterone therapy can increase testosterone without affecting their fertility,” Dr. Ramasamy said. “That is a fundamental change in approach in how men who wish to preserve fertility and have testosterone deficiency have traditionally been treated. Normally they are treated with off-label medications that carry a lot of side effects.”
“A lot of young men who are interested in fertility will need to take testosterone therapy and probably remain on testosterone therapy for the rest of their lives. We are conducting a clinical trial to determine if short-acting testosterone therapy is safer and has less side effects for these patients, compared to traditionally administered long-acting testosterone therapy,” he said.
Dr. Ramasamy is also conducting basic science research with Leydig stem cells, looking at ways in which he and colleagues can improve the stem cell’s ability to proliferate and produce testosterone cells, laying the groundwork for their use in future clinical trials. Leydig stem cells have the potential to improve men’s testosterone levels naturally without affecting their fertility.
Dr. Ramasamy’s curriculum vitae includes more than 250 published studies. Many are in Fertility and Sterility, the ASRM’s official journal. Dr. Ramasamy is the specialty editor for Fertility and Sterility, and he is the first Miller School researcher to win the ASRM award.
Dr. Ramasamy will be presented with the New Investigator Award in October, during the ASRM 2020 Scientific Congress and Expo, which will be virtual this year.
“I am delighted to learn that the ASRM has chosen to recognize Dr. Ramasamy's innovative efforts and outstanding work,” said Dipen J. Parekh, M.D., professor and chair of urology and director of robotic surgery at the Miller School. “Since his arrival at UM, he has worked tirelessly to advance the plight of male infertility. Dr. Ramasamy is a visionary in the area of reproductive medicine and his cutting-edge research continues to transform the lives of patients facing fertility challenges.”