J. Richard Pilsner

Associate Professor, Environmental Health Sciences

B.A., Hamline University, 1995; M.P.H., Columbia University, 2003; Ph.D., Columbia University, 2007; Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar, University of Michigan, 2007-10

Research Interests

J. Richard Pilsner is an interdisciplinary environmental epigeneticist focused on delineating the role of epigenetics as an intermediate step in the mechanistic pathway linking both maternal and paternal environmental exposures to reproductive and offspring health.  The centerpiece of his research is the human environmental health cohort, Sperm Environmental Epigenetics and Development Study (SEEDS), which examines the role of sperm epigenetics as a mechanism linking paternal environmental exposures, such as endocrine disrupting compounds, to reproductive and subsequent offspring health.  To compliment my research goals in humans, Dr. Pilsner examines allele-specific inheritance of the sperm methylome from preconception exposure to plasticizers.


1.       Wu H, Ashcraft L, Whitcomb BW, Rahil T, Tougais E, Sites CK, Pilsner, JR.  Parental contributions to early embryo development: influences of urinary phthalate and phthalate alternatives among couples undergoing in-vitro fertilization treatment.  Hum Reprod. 2017 Jan;32(1):65-75.
2.       Pilsner JR, Lindaman LA, Kroll-Desrosiers AR, Haskell S, Brandt, CA, Mattocks, KM.  Semen Quality Parameters among U.S. Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn.  Mil Med.  Accepted 10/17/16.
3.       Wu H, Olmsted A, Cantonwine DE, Shahsavari S, Rahil T, Sites C, Pilsner JR.  Urinary phthalate and phthalate alternative metabolites and isoprostane among couples undergoing fertility treatment.  Environ Res. 2016 Nov 19; 153: 1-7.
4.       Wu H, Hauser R, Krawetz SA, and Pilsner JR. Environmental Susceptibility of the Sperm Epigenome During Windows of Male Germ Cell Development. Curr Environ Health Rep. 2015 Dec;2(4):356-66.
5.       Wu H, de Gannes M, Luchetti G, Pilsner JR. Rapid Method for the Isolation of Mammalian Sperm DNA. Biotechniques June 2015; 58(6):293-300.

6.       Pilsner JR,  Hall MN, Liu X, Ilievski V, Slavkovich V, Levy D, Factor-Litvak P, Yunus M, Rahman M, Graziano JH, Gamble MV.   Influence of prenatal arsenic exposure and newborn sex on global methylation of cord blood DNA. PLoS One. 2012 7(5):e37147.