Participating Faculty

Kenneth Roberts

Kenneth Roberts

Department:Department of Biomedical Sciences, WSU Spokane
Credentials:1989-Ph.D., Washington State University
Office:Spokane Academic Center (SAC) Room 403S
Mailing Address:WSU Spokane
PO Box 1495
Spokane, WA 99210-1495
Website:Click here

Research Interests

Epididymal sperm maturation and sperm function

Research Summary

Sperm are produced in the testis and gain the ability to fertilize an egg as they transit the epididymis. During spermatogenesis many germ cell proteins are produced that are necessary for the function of mature sperm. Likewise, as sperm transit the epididymis they acquire proteins necessary for normal function from the epididymal fluid, which is a secretory product of the epididymal epithelium. The purpose of our research is to understand this maturation process.  This work has implications for clinical conditions of sperm dysfunction leading to male infertility.  Projects include sperm proteomics analysis to discover other sperm maturation proteins, as potential targets for sperm function and contraception development.  This approach is implicating lipid metabolism, and well as other metabolic pathways, as a critical component of sperm maturation.

Research Publications

Graham, J., et al. (2016). "Medical Humanities Coursework Is Associated with Greater Measured Empathy in Medical Students." Am J Med 129(12): 1334-1337.

Zetlen, H., et al. (2016). "Hospital-level Variation in the Quality of Benign Inpatient Urologic Surgery." Urology 87: 82-87.

Chauvin, T, Xie F, Liu T, Nicora CD, Yang F, Camp DG, Smith RD and Roberts KP.  (2012)  A systematic analysis of a deep mouse epididymal sperm proteome.  Biology of Reproduction Dec 21; 87(6):141. Doi: 10.1095/biolreprod.112.104208  

Vadnais, M. L. and K. P. Roberts (2010). "Seminal plasma proteins inhibit in vitro- and cooling-induced capacitation in boar spermatozoa." Reproduction, fertility, and development 22(6): 893-900.

Vadnais ML, Foster DN and Roberts KP.  2008  Molecular Cloning and Expression of the CRISP Family of Proteins in the Boar.  Biology of Reproduction 79:1129-1134

Roberts KP, Ensrud-Bowlin KM, Piehl LB, Parent KR, Bernhardt ML and Hamilton DW.  2008  Association of the Protein D and Protein E Forms of Rat CRISP1 with Epididymal Sperm.  Biology of Reproduction 79:1046-1053

Roberts KP, Johnston DS, Nolan MA, Wooters JL, Waxmonsky NC, Piehl LB, Ensrud-Bowlin KM, Hamilton DW. 2007 Structure and function of epididymal protein cysteine-rich secretory protein-1. Asian J Andrology 9:508-514.

Vadnais ML and Roberts KP, 2007 Effects of Seminal Plasma on Cooling-induced Capacitative Changes in Boar Sperm. Journal of Andrology 28:416-422

Nolan MA, Wu L, Bang HJ, Turner TT, Jelinsky SA, Roberts KP, Kopf GS, Johnston DS 2006 Identification of Rat Cysteine Rich Secretory Protein-4 (Crisp4) as the Ortholog to Human CRISP1 and Mouse Crisp4 Biology of Reproduction 74:984-991

Roberts KP, Ensrud KM, Wooters JL, Nolan MA, Johnston DS and Hamilton DW 2006 Epididymal Secreted Protein Crisp-1 and Sperm Function Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 250:122-127

Lavers AE, Swanlund DJ, Hunter BA, Tran ML, Pryor JL and Roberts KP. 2006 Effect of Vasectomy on the Function of the Rat Epididymal Epithelium and Vas Deferens. Journal of Andrology 27:826-36.

Johnston DS, Wooters JL, Kopf GS, Qiu Y and Roberts KP 2005 Analysis of the Human Sperm Proteome Annals of the New York Academy of Science 1061:190-202.

Washington State University