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Andrology Research

The Andrology group pursues basic, applied, clinical and public health research in male reproductive health, medicine, and biology.

Andrology is the medical and scientific discipline defined as the study of male reproductive health, medicine and biology. Male Reproductive Health involves the overlapping domains of Fertility, Sexuality and Androgenisation which overlap with male general health, especially regarding androgen (male hormonal) effects.

The Andrology group focuses on both the biological and clinical effects of androgens on male health, in particular men's reproductive and general health across all ages. Androgens (male hormones), the main one being testosterone, occur naturally in the body and play far-reaching roles in many body systems, particularly in male reproduction, fertility, and sexuality. They exert important influence on most non-reproductive tissues especially the prostate, cardiovascular system, bone and the brain, throughout the entire male lifespan and may also influence women's health.

The Andrology group is a collaboration of the:

  • Andrology Research Laboratory at the ANZAC Research Institute where the focus is on the physiology and pharmacology of androgens in males and females, by undertaking research using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, laboratory bench research and experimental animal models.
  • Andrology Department of Concord Hospital/Sydney Local Health District, where patient and community centred research is carried out and translated into improvements in patient care. The focus is on the therapeutic use of androgens such as to treat hormone deficiency states in adolescence and adulthood, in certain chronic diseases, for ageing men. In addition, we also study the relatively widespread misuse/overuse and abuse of androgens for many wishful or harmful non-medical reasons as well as in sports doping.
  • Clinical Andrology Laboratory of Concord Hospital and NSW Health Pathology which provides semen analysis and elective sperm cryostorage services. The sperm cryostorage facility is the oldest and longest running sperm bank in Australia. It provides storage of frozen sperm for men about to undergo medical treatment (usually for cancer) which may result in temporary or permanent male infertility.

Our Research Team

Professor David Handelsman Head of Department
Reena Desai Research Staff
Melissa McMartin Research Staff
Dr Veena Jayadev Clinical Staff
Dr Nandini Shankara-Narayana Clinical Staff
Dr Ann Conway Clinical Staff
Amanda Idan Clinical Staff
Sasha Savkovic Clinical Staff
Gareth Chaney Clinical Staff

Our Research Projects

Physiology & Pharmacology of Androgens

Clinical Pharmacology of Testosterone
AJ Conway, V Jayadev, N Shankara-Narayana, A Idan, S Savkovic, DJ Handelsman

Androgen Abuse Recovery Study
N Shankara-Narayana, A Idan, V Jayadev, DJ Handelsman with E Hibbert, E Jackson (Nepean Hospital)

Randomised controlled trial of testosterone vs placebo to prevent diabetes (T4DM study)
G Fraser, AJ Conway, V Jayadev, DJ Handelsman

Randomised controlled trial of recovery of serum testosterone after 2 years of exogenous testosterone treatment (T4DM Run-Off study)
G Fraser, AJ Conway, V Jayadev, DJ Handelsman

Randomised controlled trial of testosterone vs placebo with choice extension phase for androgen deficiency symptoms (T4ADS study)

SF Mok, C Fennell, G Fraser, L Turner, AJ Conway, V Jayadev, DJ Handelsman

Randomised control trial of estradiol for men with advanced prostate cancer for impact on cognition, bone and fat

N Russell, M Grossmann, DJ Handelsman

Impact and reversibility of non-prescribed androgen use on cardiac and male reproductive function

N Narayana-Shankara, A Conway, V Jayadev, S Savkovic, C Fennell with C Yu, C Naoum, A Ng, L Kritharides (Cardiology, Concord Hospital), L Ridley (Radiology, Concord Hospital)

Urine and Serum Sex Steroid and Gonadotrophin Profiles in Testosterone-Treated Transgender and Hypogonadal and Healthy Control Men

S Savkovic, S Lim, L Turner, C Fennell, G Fraser, V Jayadev, AJ Conway, DJ Handelsman

Detection of Testosterone Microdosing (Doping) in Women

S Savkovic, DJ Handelsman in collaboration with Daniel Eichner (Salt Lake City Anti-Doping Lab)

Detection of Testosterone Microdosing (Doping) in Men

S Savkovic, DJ Handelsman in collaboration with Catrin Goebel, J Grainger (Australian Sports Drug Testing Laboratory, National Measurement Institute)

Optimal Injection Interval for Testosterone Undecanoate Treatment of Hypogonadal and

Transgender Men

N Shankara Narayana, Lam P Ly, V Jayadev, C Fennell, S Savkovic, AJ Conway, DJ Handelsman

Pharmacokinetics of Recombinant and Urinary Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin in Men

S Savkovic, DJ Handelsman in collaboration with Catrin Goebel, J Grainger (Australian Sports Drug Testing Laboratory, National Measurement Institute)

Skin Changes Following Testosterone Treatment In Adult Transgender Men: A Pilot Study With Controls

S MacDonald, S Smith, V Jayadev, S Lim, A Conway, DJ Handelsman

Laboratory Research

Development of LCMS measurements for Vitamin D and its phase I and II metabolites

Carl Jenkinson (EU Marie Curie Research Fellow), R Desai, DJ Handelsman

Steroid Mass Spectrometry: measuring steroid profiles in serum and biological samples

R Desai, M McMartin (Edwards), DJ Handelsman

Urine and serum urine profiles in human puberty (Archer study)

G Singh, R Desai, DJ Handelsman with K Steinbeck (CHW)

Experimental Studies of Androgen Action

Development of Objective Laboratory-based Method for Androgen Sensitivity

K McGrath (UTS), A Heather (Univ Otago), DJ Handelsman

Androgens and Female Reproductive Physiology

K Walters, DJ Handelsman

Role of Androgens in the Origin and Pathogenesis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

K Walters, DJ Handelsman

Measurement of Testosterone Effects on Erythrocyte Lifespan (Humans, Mice)

L Seccombe (Respiratory Medicine, Concord Hospital), M McMartin, DJ Handelsman

Public Health Andrology

Hormonal Epidemiology of Male Ageing: The Concord Health in Ageing Men Project CHAMP)

B Hsu, R Cumming, D Le Couteur, MJ Seibel, DJ Handelsman and others

Pharmacoepidemiology of testosterone prescribing and overuse

LP Ly, DJ Handelsman

Global Trends in Human Sperm Output: Re-analysis of Levine meta-analysis and meta-regression

S Rezapour, A Azar, DJ Handelsman

Reproductive Effects of Novel Non-Cytotoxic and Immunotherapy Anti-cancer Drugs

A Idan, C Fennell, S Savkovic, V Jayadev, N Shankara Narayana, AJ Conway, DJ Handelsman with G Long, A Menzies (Melanoma Institute of Australia) and A Anazodo (PoW Hospital)

Donor Colonisation of Non-Marrow Epithelia After Allogenic Bone Marrow Transplant

N Shankara-Narayana, A Idan, S Savkovic, V Jayadev, AJ Conway, DJ Handelsman

Raine Birth Cohort: Reproductive Function at 30 years of age

R Hart, DJ Handelsman

Selected Grants

Amount awarded

Grant and project details

$3,164,215 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), 2021-25
“Overcoming Androgen Misuse and Abuse”

Investigator: Handelsman

Our Publications

2022

Akram M, Raza Rizvi SS, Qayyum M, Handelsman DJ. A classification of genes involved in normal and delayed male puberty. Asian J Androl. 2022 Apr 29. doi: 10.4103/aja202210. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35532554.
Catford SR, Halliday J, Lewis S, O'Bryan MK, Handelsman DJ, Hart RJ, McBain J, Rombauts L, Amor DJ, Saffery R, McLachlan RI. Reproductive function in men conceived with in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Fertil Steril. 2022 Apr;117(4):727-737. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2021.12.026. Epub 2022 Feb 2. PMID: 35120745.
Coyle CS, Prescott M, Handelsman DJ, Walters KA, Campbell RE. Chronic androgen excess in female mice does not impact luteinizing hormone pulse frequency or putative GABAergic inputs to GnRH neurons. J Neuroendocrinol. 2022 Apr;34(4):e13110. doi: 10.1111/jne.13110. Epub 2022 Mar 10. PMID: 35267218.
Dai Z, Hirani V, Sahni S, Felson DT, Naganathan V, Blyth F, Le Couteur D, Handelsman D, Seibel MJ, Waite L, Kiel DP, Cumming R. Association of dietary fiber and risk of hip fracture in men from the Framingham Osteoporosis Study and the Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project. Nutr Health. 2022 Jun;28(2):229-238. doi: 10.1177/02601060211011798. Epub 2021 May 4. PMID: 33940973.
Gild ML, Stuart M, Clifton-Bligh RJ, Kinahan A, Handelsman DJ. Thyroid Hormone Abuse in Elite Sports: The Regulatory Challenge. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2022 Apr 19:dgac223. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgac223. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35438767.
Gnanenthiran SR, Ng ACC, Cumming RG, Brieger DB, le Couteur DG, Waite LM, Seibel M, Handelsman DJ, Naganathan V, Kritharides L, Blyth FM. Hemoglobin, Frailty, and Long-term Cardiovascular Events in Community-Dwelling Older Men Aged ≥ 70 Years. Can J Cardiol. 2022 Jun;38(6):745-753. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2022.01.024. Epub 2022 Jan 29. PMID: 35101588.
Handelsman DJ, Bacha F, DeBono M, Sleiman S, Janu MR. Sexually transmitted doping: The impact of urine contamination of semen. Drug Test Anal. 2022 Jun 2. doi: 10.1002/dta.3331. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35655428.
Handelsman DJ, Cooper ER, Heather AK. Bioactivity of 11 keto and hydroxy androgens in yeast and mammalian host cells. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2022 Apr;218:106049. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2021.106049. Epub 2022 Jan 3. PMID: 34990809.
Handelsman DJ, Desai R, Conway AJ, Shankara-Narayana N, Stuckey BGA, Inder WJ, Grossmann M, Yeap BB, Jesudason D, Ly LP, Bracken K, Wittert GA. Recovery of male reproductive endocrine function after ceasing prolonged testosterone undecanoate injections. Eur J Endocrinol. 2022 Jan 28;186(3):307-318. doi: 10.1530/EJE-21-0608. PMID: 35000898.
Handelsman DJ. History of androgens and androgen action. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2022 Feb 24:101629. doi: 10.1016/j.beem.2022.101629. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35277356.
Handelsman DJ. The Illusory Case for Treatment of an Invented Disease. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2022 Jan 18;12:682620. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2021.682620. PMID: 35116001; PMCID: PMC8803734.
Islam RM, Bell RJ, Handelsman DJ, McNeil JJ, Nelson MR, Reid CM, Tonkin AM, Wolfe RS, Woods RL, Davis SR. Associations between blood sex steroid concentrations and risk of major adverse cardiovascular events in healthy older women in Australia: a prospective cohort substudy of the ASPREE trial. Lancet Healthy Longev. 2022 Feb;3(2):e109-e118. doi: 10.1016/S2666-7568(22)00001-0. Epub 2022 Feb 7. PMID: 35252940; PMCID: PMC8896500.
Jenkinson C, Desai R, McLeod MD, Wolf Mueller J, Hewison M, Handelsman DJ. Circulating Conjugated and Unconjugated Vitamin D Metabolite Measurements by Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2022 Jan 18;107(2):435-449. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgab708. PMID: 34570174.
Khalatbari-Soltani S, Blyth FM, Naganathan V, Le Couteur DG, Handelsman DJ, Seibel MJ, Hirani V, Wright FAC, Waite LM, Cumming RG. Cohort Profile Update: The Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project (CHAMP). Int J Epidemiol. 2022 Feb 18;51(1):31-32h. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyab171. PMID: 34601611.
Khoa LD, Trieu Vy ND, Tai Loc NM, Thang LD, Anh DT, Hieu NP, Nhu GH, Tao ND, Hoang L, Handelsman DJ. Antibiotic usage in surgical sperm retrievals among IVF centers. Asian J Androl. 2022 Mar 25. doi: 10.4103/aja2021123. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35343177.
Kiely KM, Khalatbari-Soltani S, Blyth FM, Naganathan V, Handelsman DJ, Waite LM, Le Couteur DG, Mortby ME, Cumming RG, Anstey KJ. Mixed Evidence of an Association between Self-Rated Hearing Difficulties and Falls: Prospective Analysis of Two Longitudinal Studies. Gerontology. 2022 May 20:1-11. doi: 10.1159/000524311. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35598592.
Luong R, Ribeiro RV, Rangan A, Naganathan V, Blyth F, Waite LM, Handelsman DJ, Cumming RG, Le Couteur DG, Hirani V. Changes in dietary total and non-haem iron intake is associated with incident frailty in older men: The Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2022 Mar 30:glac077. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glac077. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35352124.
Marriott RJ, Murray K, Flicker L, Hankey GJ, Matsumoto AM, Dwivedi G, Antonio L, Almeida OP, Bhasin S, Dobs AS, Handelsman DJ, Haring R, O'Neill TW, Ohlsson C, Orwoll ES, Vanderschueren D, Wittert GA, Wu FCW, Yeap BB. Lower serum testosterone concentrations are associated with a higher incidence of dementia in men: The UK Biobank prospective cohort study. Alzheimers Dement. 2022 Jan 3. doi: 10.1002/alz.12529. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34978125.
Russell N, Allebone J, Dandash O, Hoermann R, Cheung AS, Zajac JD, Handelsman DJ, Kanaan RA, Grossmann M. Effect of estradiol on cognition in men undergoing androgen deprivation therapy: A randomized placebo-controlled trial. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2022 Feb 12. doi: 10.1111/cen.14689. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35150156.
Russell N, Ghasem-Zadeh A, Hoermann R, Cheung AS, Zajac JD, Shore-Lorenti C, Ebeling PR, Handelsman DJ, Grossmann M. Effects of estradiol on bone in men undergoing androgen deprivation therapy: a randomised placebo-controlled trial. Eur J Endocrinol. 2022 Jun 1:EJE-22-0227. doi: 10.1530/EJE-22-0227. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35666800.
Savkovic S, Ly LP, Desai R, Howa J, Nair V, Eichner D, Handelsman DJ. Detection of testosterone microdosing in healthy females. Drug Test Anal. 2022 Apr;14(4):653-666. doi: 10.1002/dta.3202. Epub 2022 Jan 3. PMID: 34811948.
Shankara-Narayana N, Brooker L, Goebel C, Speers N, Handelsman DJ. Reliability of Drug History to Verify Androgen Abuse In Men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2022 Jun 6:dgac348. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgac348. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35661889.
Shi H, Tsai KH, Ma D, Wang X, Desai R, Parungao RJ, Hunt NJ, Cheng YY, Zhang H, Xu Y, Simanainen U, Tan Q, Cooper MS, Handelsman DJ, Maitz PK, Wang Y. Controlled dual release of dihydrotestosterone and flutamide from polycaprolactone electrospun scaffolds accelerate burn wound healing. FASEB J. 2022 May;36(5):e22310. doi: 10.1096/fj.202101803R. PMID: 35394674.
Shu CC, Wright F, Naganathan V, Blyth FM, Le Couteur DG, Handelsman DJ, Stanaway FF. Does social support predict increased use of dental services in older men? Aust Dent J. 2022 Apr 3. doi: 10.1111/adj.12911. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35373341.
Volckmar X, Vallejo M, Bertoldo MJ, Nguyen QN, Handelsman DJ, Chisholm O, Anazodo A. Oncofertility Information Available for Recently Approved Novel Non Cytotoxic and Immunotherapy Oncology Drugs. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2022 Feb;111(2):382-390. doi: 10.1002/cpt.2254. Epub 2021 Apr 22. PMID: 33826770.
Wright FAC, Shu EC, Cumming RG, Naganathan V, Blyth FM, Hirani V, Le Couteur DG, Handelsman DJ, Seibel MJ, Waite LM, Stanaway FF. Oral health-related quality of life of older Australian men. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2022 May 13. doi: 10.1111/cdoe.12754. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35561045.
Wu H, Mach J, Gnjidic D, Naganathan V, Blyth FM, Waite LM, Handelsman DJ, Le Couteur DG, Hilmer SN. Comparing Effects of Polypharmacy on Inflammatory Profiles in Older Adults and Mice: Implications for Translational Ageing Research. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2022 Mar 17:glac061. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glac061. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35299251.
Xiong T, Rodriguez Paris V, Edwards MC, Hu Y, Cochran BJ, Rye KA, Ledger WL, Padmanabhan V, Handelsman DJ, Gilchrist RB, Walters KA. Androgen signaling in adipose tissue, but less likely skeletal muscle, mediates development of metabolic traits in a PCOS mouse model. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2022 Jun 6. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00418.2021. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35658542.
Xu P, Blyth FM, Naganathan V, Cumming RG, Handelsman DJ, Seibel MJ, Le Couteur DG, Waite LM, Khalatbari-Soltani S. Socioeconomic Inequalities in Elective and Nonelective Hospitalizations in Older Men. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Apr 1;5(4):e226398. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.6398. PMID: 35389499; PMCID: PMC8990350.
Yeap BB, Marriott RJ, Antonio L, Raj S, Dwivedi G, Reid CM, Anawalt BD, Bhasin S, Dobs AS, Handelsman DJ, Hankey GJ, Haring R, Matsumoto AM, Norman PE, O'Neill TW, Ohlsson C, Orwoll ES, Vanderschueren D, Wittert GA, Wu FCW, Murray K. Associations of Serum Testosterone and Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin With Incident Cardiovascular Events in Middle-Aged to Older Men. Ann Intern Med. 2022 Feb;175(2):159-170. doi: 10.7326/M21-0551. Epub 2021 Dec 28. PMID: 34958606.

Our Presentations

2022

Hutchison JC, Trim PJ, Whiley PAF, Handelsman DJ, Snell M, Loveland KL. Chronic excess of activin A perturbs lipid profile and steroid production in the mouse gonads and adrenal gland. Proceeding of the Society for Reproductive Biology Annual Scientific meeting, Christchurch, New Zealand, November 2022
Kweon S, Gibson E, Golebiowski B, Desai R, Handelsman DJ, Stapleton F. Serum sex hormones and ocular surface symptoms and signs in postmenopausal women. Proceeding of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) scientific program meeting, San Diego, California, USA, October 2022
Nie T, Venkatesh V, Golub S, Stok K, Desai R, Handelsman DJ, Zajac JD, Grossmann M. Davey RA. Estradiol increases endocortical deposition, trabecular bone volume and bone strength in an adolescent male-to-female mouse model of gender affirming hormone therapy. Proceedings of American Society of Bone and Mineral Research meeting, Austin, Texas, USA, September 2022 (awarded Young Investigator Award)