Anders Rehfeld is a MD PhD from the University of Copenhagen and currently a postdoc at the Department of Growth and Reproduction, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.
As a PhD student at the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, he studied the direct effects of environmental chemicals on human sperm cell function. Using a fluorescence plate reader-based technique to measure changes in Ca(2+)-signaling in human sperm cells, he showed that multiple environmental chemicals had the ability to mimic the effect of the female sex hormone progesterone directly on the CatSper Ca(2+)-channel in human sperm cells. Further studies employing functional assays, e.g. the image cytometer-based acrosome reaction assay, showed that the chemicals could similarly mimic the effect of progesterone on human sperm function. As CatSper is vital to normal male fertility, the results raised concern that exposure to these chemicals could interfere with sperm cell functions critical for the normal fertilization of the egg. The results from the PhD have been extensively covered in news media both, e.g. CNN and Huffington Post. Based on the oral presentation of the results from his PhD, he was won the Danish PhD Cup 2018 competition.