image of naz

Rajesh K. Naz

Department of Microbiology,
Immunology, and Cell Biology
2085 Health Science North
School of Medicine
Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center
P.O. Box 9100
Morgantown, WV 26506-9100
(304) 293-2554


Obstetrics and Gynecology, Microbiology,
Immunology and Cell Biology

Vice Chair of Research

for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology


PhD, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India


The three main areas of interest are 1) Testis-specific gene expression, contraceptive vaccine development, fertilization, and infertility; 2) Delineating sperm-specific antigens; 3) Prostate cancer, immunopathology of pregnancy, and endocrine disruptors.

My laboratory focuses on delineating sperm-specific antigens that have a role in antisperm antibody-mediated in infertility, and can be used for the development of contraceptive vaccines in men and women. Over 10 of infertility is caused by antisperm antibodies produced in male and/or female partner of an infertile couple. The molecules and mechanisms causing the development of antisperm antibodies and infertility are unclear. Various advanced techniques of molecular biology, immunology, cell biology, reproductive biology, proteomics, and genomics are employed. Over ten genes that are specifically expressed in human testis, ovary, and prostate have been cloned and sequenced, and published from the laboratory. Our research effort has been continuously funded through NIH grant HD24425 since 1988, and is presently at 20th year of uninterrupted funding.

Representative Publications

Dr. Naz has published over 184 peer- reviewed full length articles in reputed journals including Science, PNAS, and JCI, authored/edited 6 books, served on several study sections of the NIH, DOD, and various international funding agencies.

Naz RK, Dhandapani L: Identification of human sperm proteins that interact with human pellucida3 (ZP3) using yeast two-hybrid system. J Reprod Immunol 84, 24-31, 2010.  PMID: 19945174

Naz RK, Catalano B: Gene knockouts that affect female fertility: novel targets for contraception. Front Biosci S2, 1092-112, 2010.  PMID: 20515843

Naz RK: Can curcumin provide an ideal contraceptive? Mol Reprod Dev 78, 116-123, 2011.  PMID: 21337449

Naz RK: Contraceptive Vaccines: Where we are and where we are going? Am J Reprod Immunol 66, 5-12, 2011.  PMID: 21481057

Lemons AR,  Naz RK: Contraceptive vaccines targeting factors involved in establishment of pregnancy. Am J Reprod Immunol 66, 13-25, 2011.  PMID: 21481058

Naz RK: Female genital tract immunity: distinct immunological challenge and vaccine development. J Reprod Immunol 93, 1-8, 2012.  PMID: 22154945

Lemons AR,  Naz RK: Birth control vaccine targeting leukemia inhibitory factor. Mol Reprod Dev 79, 97-106, 2012.  PMID: 22139866

Hoover P,  Naz RK: Do men with prostate abnormalities (prostatitis/benign prostatic hyperplasia/ prostate cancer) develop immunity to spermatozoa or seminal plasma? Int J Androl 35, 608-615, 2012. PMID: 22321000

Clark S, Naz RK: Presence and incidence of izumo antibodies in sera of immunoinfertile women and men. Am J Repod Immunol  69, 256-263,2013. PMID:23279005

Naz RK, Butler TS:  Antibodies to prostate-specific antigen in immunoinfertile women and men. J Reprod Immunol  97, 217-222,2013. PMID: 23415846

 Erin Barthelmess, Naz RK : Polycystic ovary syndrome:current status and future perspective. Front Biosci 6, 104-119, 2014. PMID: 24389146

Naz RK:  Recent progress toward development of vaccines against conception. Expert  Rev Vaccines 13, 145-154,2014. PMID:24308631

Naz RK, Lough ML: Curcumin as a potential non-steroidal  contraceptive with spermicidal  and microbicidal properties. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 176:142-148,2014. PMID: 24702904

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