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Basic and Clinical Research in Male Reproduction

Dr. Amory’s principal area of research expertise is in male reproductive health, and he is an internationally known investigator in the areas of male contraception and male hypogonadism. Specifically, his research is focused on: 1) the development of safe, effective forms of oral testosterone therapy for the treatment of men with testosterone deficiency,  2) the development of safe, effective and reversible forms of male contraception and 3) the development of new methods for treating male infertility.

In his efforts to develop a safe effective form of oral testosterone therapy, he has initiated, conducted and first and senior-authored a series of clinical research studies demonstrating the efficacy of an oral approach to the therapy of testosterone deficiency. In particular, he has discovered that previous attempts to administer testosterone orally were hampered by significant conversion of oral testosterone to the metabolite dihydrotestosterone in the intestine. He has demonstrated that co-administration of 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, such as finasteride or dutasteride, with oral testosterone result in greatly improved bioavailability of orally dosed testosterone, and a reduction in dihydrotestosterone formation. As dihydrotestosterone has been implicated in the pathophysiology of prostate enlargement and possibly of prostate cancer, this combination is attractive both in terms of drug delivery as well as the prevention of harmful side effects of androgen therapy. This work has refuted long-held beliefs regarding the suitability of oral androgen administration, and has resulted in the granting of a U.S. patent (#7,138,389), which has recently been licensed to a company moving towards Phase III testing of a novel oral testosterone preparation, and will, hopefully allow for improved treatment of men with testosterone deficiency.

Dr. Amory is also well known for his contributions to research in the area of male contraception. He has authored or co-authored several original research articles in this area. In all cases, he played a central role in study design, patient recruitment and study conduct.  In addition, his training in biostatistics allows him to organize and interpret the results. In the past, his work in this area was largely focused on hormonal approaches to male contraception.  More recently, he has begun to explore non-hormonal approaches to male contraception. This work was the basis of his $1.2 million dollar, five-year, NIH grant of which he is the principal investigator and investigates the use of inhibitors of testicular retinoic acid biosynthesis as reversible, non-hormonal male contraceptives.

Dr. Amory’s prominence in this field has resulted in two notable research awards from societies in his field. In 2005, he was awarded the Endocrine Society International Award for Excellence in Published Clinical Research given annually to the author of the best clinical research article published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. In 2007, he was awarded the Young Andrologist Award from the American Society of Andrology, which is given annually to the most outstanding researcher in the society under the age of 45. In addition, he was recently elected to both the Executive council and the editorial board of the American Society of Andrology.