University of Calgary

Ina Dobrinski


Department Head
Comparative Biology and Experimental Medicine (CBEM)

Degrees and Board Certification:, M.V.Sc., Ph.D., DACT

Contact Information: 

+1 (403) 210-6523
HMRB 404

Affiliations : 

Professor, Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary


Ina Dobrinski is Professor of Reproductive Biology and Department Head in Comparative Biology & Experimental Medicine in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary. She joined the University of Calgary in 2008 after 11 years at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, where she was a Professor of Reproduction, the Director of the Center for Animal Transgenesis and Germ Cell Research, and the Marion Dilley and Robert George Jones Chair in Reproduction. Dr. Dobrinski’s group studies the biology of male germ line stem cells in non-rodent models, including primate, porcine and small ruminant models. Dr. Dobrinski has strong interests in using germ line modification as an approach to generating transgenic non-ro

Research / Scholarly Activities: 

Research in our laboratory is focused on mammalian germ line stem cell biology. Germ line stem cells form the basis of male fertility and are the only cells in an adult body that divide and can contribute genes to subsequent generations, making them immediate targets for genetic manipulation. There also appears to be considerable plasticity between germ line stem cells and pluripotent stem cells, indicating the potential to use germ line stem cells for regenerative medicine.We were first to apply germ line stem cell transplantation in non-rodent models to transmit a genetic change introduced into germ line stem cells to the next generation. Study of human and animal disease requires appropriate models. While there are many rodent models, larger animal models such as pigs more closely represent human physiology, size and longevity. Our work enables generation of genetically modified non-rodent animal models that is more efficient than the current approaches. As a complementary approach, we also developed xenografting of testis tissue as an accessible in vivo system to study germ line stem cells and spermatogenesis. This technique makes it possible for the first time to produce sperm from immature males and allows controlled experimentation in donor species such as primates where experiments in whole animals would be logistically and ethically difficult. HONARAMOOZ, A., S. MEGEE, R. RATHI & I. DOBRINSKI (2007): Building a Testis - Formation of Functional Testis Tissue after Transplantation of Isolated Porcine (Sus scrofa) Testis Cells. Biol. Reprod. 76: 43-47. HONARAMOOZ, A., A. SNEDAKER, M. BOIANI, H.R. SCHÖLER, I. DOBRINSKI* & S. SCHLATT (2002): Sperm from neonatal mammalian testes grafted in mice. Nature 418: 778-781. SCHLATT, S. A. HONARAMOOZ, J. EHMCKE, P.J. GOEBELL, H. RUBBEN, R. DHIR, I. DOBRINSKI* & P. PATRIZIO (2006): Limited survival of adult human testicular tissue as ectopic xenograft. Hum. Reprod. 21(2): 384-389. HONARAMOOZ, A., S. MEGEE, W. ZENG, M.M. DESTREMPES, S.A. OVERTON, J. LUO, H. GALANTINO-HOMER, M. MODELSKI, F. CHEN, S. BLASH, D.T. MELICAN, W.G. GAVIN, S. AYRES, F. YANG, P.J. WANG, Y. ECHELARD & I. DOBRINSKI (2008): Adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated transduction of male germline stem cells results in transgene transmission after germ cell transplantation. FASEB J. 22: 374-382.RATHI, R., W. ZENG, S. MEGEE, A. CONLEY, S. MEYERS & I. DOBRINSKI (2008): Maturation of testicular tissue from infant monkeys after xenografting into mice. Endocrinology 149 (10): 5288-5296.LUO, J., S. MEGEE & I. DOBRINSKI (2009): Asymmetric distribution of UCH-L1 in spermatogonia is associated with maintenance and differentiation of spermatogonial stem cells. J. Cell. Physiol. 220: 460-468. He, Z., M. Kokkinaki, J. Jiang, I. Dobrinski & M. Dym (2010): Isolation, Characterization, and Culture of Human Spermatogonia. Biol. Reprod. 82: 363-372 LUO, J., J.R. RODRIGUEZ-SOSA, L.TANG, A. BONDAREVA, S. MEGEE & I. DOBRINSKI (2010): Expression pattern of acetylated -tubulin in porcine spermatogonia. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 77: 348-352.