Impact of metabolic health on sperm epigenetic marks in humans


​The purpose of this study is to determine whether a man's metabolic health, including diabetes and body weight, can affect signals in his sperm which affect how genes are turned on or off. (These are called epigenetic factors.)  These signals may be important for the health of his offspring.

The study involves:

  • 2 visits to Joslin, 3 months apart
  • Phone calls before each visit for scheduling
  • Blood test, body fat measurements, and physical exam during each study visit
  • Self-collection of sperm samples at each of the 2 visits (materials provided)
  • If required, a medication (sildenafil) will be provided to make it easier to collect the sperm sample.

Monetary compensation and parking validation are provided for eligible study participants.


  • Male, age 18 to 65
  • If diagnosed with diabetes, hemoglobin A1c over 7%
  • Overweight or obese (body mass index over 25 kg/m2)
  • Non-smoker


​Lauren Richardson at lauren.richardson [at] or (617) 309-4463.