Mary Ann Handel, PhD


Professor of Medicine



BA, Goucher College
MS, Biology, Johns Hopkins University
PhD, Biology, Kansas State University
Postdoctoral Training, Oak Ridge National Laboratory



Campus: The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME
Office: Snell 4400
Laboratory: Snell 4325

Contact Information

Office Phone: 207-288-6778
Lab Phone: 207-288-6564
E-mail   Send an e-mail


Graduate Programs



Research Synopsis

Our laboratory investigates the genetic regulation of spermatogenesis and male fertility with a focus on meiosis, a specialized cell division unique to germ cells that reduces the number of chromosome sets from two (diploid) to one (haploid), producing the gametes, the eggs and sperm that come together during sexual reproduction. We are especially interested in how germ cells form condensed chromosomes as they enter the meiotic division phase, a process that is of crucial importance for the formation of gametes, ensuring the haploid chromosome content of the future gamete, as well as genetic integrity and reproductive success. Our studies are providing significant new information about assembly of mammalian meiotic chromosomes, and ultimately will help us understand how errors in these meiotic mechanisms cause aneuploidy, or inappropriate chromosome number, in offspring. Additionally, we take an unbiased genetic approach to identify new mutations that affect meiotic processes, spermatogenic differentiation, and male fertility. Because spermatogenic "maturation arrest" and fertilization failure, occur in many unexplained cases of human male infertility and reproductive toxicity, this approach can shed light on infertility, and possibly identify potential targets for contraception.

Apply to the Sackler School


The priority application deadlines are as follows:

December 1: Basic Science Division PhD Programs

February 15: Building Diversity in Biomedical Sciences

March 31: Post-Baccalaureate Research Program

May 1: Clinical & Translational Science, MS in Pharmacology & Drug Development

June 15: Online Certificate in Fundamentals of Clinical Care Research