About the Department

Kasturba Medical College, Manipal was the first to establish clinical embryology sub speciality in Asia in 2005, aiming to provide thorough academic training, research experience, ethics and skills related to human preimplantation embryology and infertility. To strengthen the research culture in ART, the department has also started doctoral training in 2007. 

Approximately one in eight couples experience some form of infertility, making it one of the most common medical problems in their reproductive age. Though advancements have been made both in clinical and laboratory aspects of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), there still are grey areas that need further research to improve the quality of outcome. Further, the country needs competent clinical embryologists to provide quality treatment in an ethical manner. Hence the primary focus of the department is capacity building through academic programmes to produce competent human resources to take up employment in both clinical ART and research stream, thereby enhancing the visibility of this specialised area of science.

The department of Clinical Embryology (now known as Department of Reproductive Science, effective from   October 2021) is one of the top centres in Asia for advanced training and research in the field of embryology. The clinical wing of the department treats approximately ten thousand infertile patients every year and offers all modern ART techniques including preimplantation genetic testing and fertility preservation in cancer-affected individuals. Our department is now classified into 3 entities:

1.Division of Clinical Embryology (Headed by Dr. Satish Kumar Adiga)

2.Division of Reproductive Biology (Headed by Dr. Guruprasad Kalthur)

3.Division of Reproductive Genetics (Headed by Dr. Shubhashree Uppangala)

Besides providing top-clinical care, the centre also conducts research on understanding the pathophysiological aspects underlying infertility. Customized embryology training is being offered to students, practicing embryologists and medical doctors empowering them to undertake clinical and research activities at their own institutes. The department has been recognized as a Global Embryology Training Centre by Merck Foundation, Germany; a Centre of Excellence (CoE) by Merck Biopharma, India and National Embryology Training Centre by Indian Society for Assisted Reproduction (ISAR).

MSc. Clinical Embryology

MAHE was first in the country and only second in Asia to start MSc in Clinical Embryology in 2005. The main goal of the course is to offer graduates in life science the opportunity to gain experience to undertake employment in laboratory management in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).  The intensive curriculum includes theoretical, practical and clinical training in both fundamental and advanced aspects of ART spread over a period of four semesters (80 credits, 2 years). As a part of the clinical training, the students experience direct interactions with patients in male reproductive and IVF laboratories, and in patient counselling. The practical training uses state of the art facilities to transform students from trainees to skilled embryologists to work independently in ART centres.  Industry-academia partnership allows students to take up semester long internship in reputed ART centres across the country. The course has excellent placement records through campus selection. https://manipal.edu/kmc-manipal/program-list/msc-clinical-embryology.html; clinical.embryology@manipal.edu

MSc. Reproductive and Developmental Biology

Newly introduced, full-time, 2-year (4 semester) postgraduate program that offers in-depth training in diverse areas of mammalian development such as reproductive physiology, embryogenesis, implantation, contraception, reproductive toxicology and teratology. The course involves interactive lectures, group discussions, open electives, one-to-one training, exposure to cutting-edge techniques, journal discussions and regular interactions with eminent scientists of international repute. Students also have the opportunity to experience cutting edge research on the fundamental aspects of developmental biology. Industry academia partnership allows students to avail internship opportunities which will prepare them to take up cutting edge industry-oriented research. The candidates will have a variety of next-step destinations such as, higher studies for doctoral degree (PhD), a scientific officer in industries/pharmaceutical companies/R&D laboratories or academic positions. Campus selection will be organized to provide enough placement opportunities to students. https://manipal.edu/kmc-manipal/program-list/MSc-Reproductive-and-Developmental-Biology.html ; reproductive.biology@manipal.edu

MSc. Reproductive Genetics

The master program in Reproductive Genetics is a multidisciplinary full time program, with an aim of providing graduates in life sciences an opportunity to understand the genetic and epigenetic aspects of human reproduction process in natural and assisted conceptions.  Graduates will be trained to carry out both basic and advanced genetic tests involved in reproductive genetics using state of the art facility. 

The learning process uses a combination of maneuvers including interactive lectures, tutorships, postings, small group discussions, seminars, electives, internships through academia-industry partnerships. In addition, students will be able to relish the flavor of research by taking up a semester long research project related to reproductive genetics. On completion, the candidates will be able to take up higher studies for doctoral degree (PhD), teaching jobs at academic institutions, research associates/ reproductive geneticists in diagnostic genetics labs, hospitals and research labs. https://manipal.edu/kmc-manipal/program-list/MSc-Reproductive-Genetics.html; repro.genetics@manipal.edu

Doctoral (PhD) program:

The field of ART has many grey areas which needs to be addressed through research. To strengthen the research culture in ART, the department has started doctoral-level training in 2007.  The Ph.D. program is a feasible solution for producing competent human resources to address clinical problems through fundamental and translational research.  Department will provide a platform for enthusiastic candidates who are interested in taking up cutting edge research in both fundamental and applied aspects of reproduction and fertility. Students who have secured national fellowships from ICMR, CSIR, INSPIRE or other agencies can contact clinical.embryology@manipal.edu to explore the possibilities to join the ongoing research programs in the department. Also, selected number of Dr. TMA Pai scholarships for meritorious students are  available for pursuing PhD in the department. reproduction@manipal.edu

Integrated MSc PhD program:

Started in 2018, the integrated MSc-PhD program is expected to produce potential human resources capable of strengthening the research in the field of fertility. Students qualified through this program will be capable of enhancing the research culture and output in the field of infertility in India and abroad. The primary objective of this program is to identify talented and dedicated Bachelor's degree holders with a keen sense of scientific enquiry and motivate them to pursue high priority research in frontier areas of fertility and reproduction. Meritorious students from life science stream (first rank holders, INSPIRE award winners, KVPY qualified students, National science Olympiad winners) interested in taking up fertility related research for their doctoral programme may contact reproduction@manipal.edu for more details and opportunities.

Postdoctoral training:

This program offers opportunity for doctoral degree holders, those in the early stage of their career who plan to develop and implement an independent research project in the field of fertility and reproduction. The program was introduced in 2019. The department can host researchers with different disciplinary backgrounds to work on a single project related to reproduction, contributing their own methodological expertise, while having the opportunity to sharpen their individual research profiles. Department can consider supporting the applications of fellows who are planning to apply government funded postdoctoral programs such as Ramanujan Fellowship or similar programs.

Adjunct Faculty

Prof. Dr. Riccardo Talevi, University of Naples, Italy


Riccardo Talevi, has a PhD in Biology of Reproduction and Differentiation, is Professor of Reproductive Biology at the University of Naples Federico II, and is Scientific coordinator of the IVF center in the Public Hospital Moscati Avellino Italy and at the Ospedale Santa Maria Delle Grazie in Puzzuoli, Italy. He is Scientific Director of the Electron Microscopy Center of University of Naples Federico II.  His primary research interests include:  sperm interaction and selection inside the female reproductive tract, improving the efficiency of assisted reproduction technology (ART) and fertility preservation. He elucidated the basic mechanisms of gamete maturation and selection, and the effects of cryopreservation on the biological structure of oocytes and ovarian tissue.




Prof Stefan Schlatt is the Director, Centre for Reproductive Medicine and Andrology, University hospital Münster, Germany. He has a special interest in fertility preservation for oncological pediatric patients and in vitro spermatogenesis. More specifically his investigations are focused on sprematogonial stem cells as a possible source for the production of transgenic offspring and their application in fertility preservation in sub and infertile men. He is diligently working towards the development of various approaches to study the proliferation and differentiation pattern of testicular cells. Prof Schlatt and his team have already developed rodent and non-human primate models for germ cell transplantation and testicular tissue grafting.


Prof. Dr. Stefan Schlatt, University of Munster, Germany




Prof. Dr. Borut Kovačić, University Medical Centre Maribor, Ljubljasnka, Slovenia.


Prof Kovačič is the Head of the IVF Laboratory in University Medical Centre Maribor and Professor of Cell Biology at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He is an active researcher and has more than 100 scientific papers and book chapters. He is an active member of ESHRE and past Coordinator of Embryologist Certification Committee ESHRE Executive Committee member 2015-2019. His current research interests are optimizing the in vitro conditions for early embryo development, impact of oxygen on human embryos and quality control in ART lab.




Dr Judith Menezes is a ESHRE certified Senior Embryologist at Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. She had previously worked in several reputed ART centres in Australia and Europe. Dr Menezes has extensive experience in Embryo Biopsy, Cryopreservation, and Fertility Preservation.


Dr. Judith Menezes, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden




Dr Dayanidhi Kumar

Lab Director (India) & JCOO (Patna) , Indira IVF Hospital PVT Ltd,  Patna

Dr Sam Sudhakaran

Clinical Embryologist, St Bartholomews NHS Hospital London, UK

Ms Sukruthi Bijige

Lab Manager,    IVF Access,  Bangalore

Ms Shreya Mukesh Agrawal

Chief Embryologist,  Arush IVF and Endoscopy Centre, Mumbai



Ms Rhea Dee Rasquinha  

Clinical Embryologist,  Oasis Fertility Centre,  Canada

Mr Supreet Pal Singh

Clinical Embryologist at Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine, Canada


Ms Kashish Sharma

Clinical Embryologist,  ART Fertility Clinics, Abu Dhabi



Ph.D Awarded/Ongoing



Year of award

Dinesh Upadhya


Varshini Jayaraman


Dayanidhi Kumar


Shubhashree U


Fiona D’Souza


Ramya Nair


Guruprasad Nayak


Sandhya Kumari M V


Arpitha Rao


Prathima Tholeti


Aswathi C


Pooja SP


Daphne Norma Crasta


Akshatha DP


Reyon Dcunha


Huidrom Yaiphaba Meitei


Ameya Jijo


Riddhi Pandya


Divya Bhagat


Keerthana Poojary


Dhakshanya P


Jyolsna PK


Sujit Raj Salian







Services offered

Manipal Assisted Reproduction Centre (MARC) is the clinical wing of the department which treats approximately ten thousand infertile patients every year. The department of clinical embryology provides clinical service in the following areas:


Andrology laboratory: 

The Andrology specialized laboratory offers a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic techniques to meet patient needs. The laboratory uses the latest World Health Organization (WHO, Fifth Edition, 2010) guidelines and reference ranges in the evaluation of semen samples. Other facilities such as computer assisted semen analysis (CASA), sperm DNA fragmentation test, advanced sperm preparation methods for therapeutic insemination, semen and testicular tissue cryopreservation are also available to cater infertility patients.  




In vitro Fertilization (IVF) laboratory: 

The IVF Lab at Manipal Assisted Reproduction Centre (MARC) is key to our mission to help patients through the journey of becoming parents. For those struggling to conceive, the advanced technologies and workstations help to evaluate their sperm and eggs, use appropriate methods to fertilize and develop the embryos before they are implanted into the uterus.  The IVF lab has one of the most experienced teams in the field of IVF. Many on our team have decades of experience. Embryologists in the team have special training in several niche areas of IVF which is beyond the national requirements.





Fertility Preservation (Oncofertility):

Cancer treating drugs and radiation often damage eggs and sperm producing cells in the body which are necessary for successful pregnancy. In men, the side effects of cancer treatment can cause damage to the testes and interfere with sperm production. Similarly, damage to eggs can compromise a woman’s childbearing ability in the future. There is thus an urgent need to protect the fertility of such patients before cancer treatment can commence.

The Centre for Fertility Preservation has advanced technologies and cryogenic facilities to freeze gametes and embryos for those who have procedures that may make them unable to have children, including cancer patients. First of its kind in the country, the centre along with its partners Oncofertility Consortium in USA and University of Muenster in Germany, offers fertility preservation services to cancer affected children and young adults.




Besides providing top-clinical care and training, the department is also conducting research on understanding the pathophysiological aspects underlying infertility. The mandate of research is the study of fertility and reproduction through experimental and clinical approaches in following niche areas:


Understanding the gamete and embryo pathology:  Uncovering new ways to evaluate sperm, eggs and embryos in a non-invasive way (without damaging their potential to develop) is the need of hour in fertility treatment. Research is focussed in this direction to keep embryos alive in the IVF laboratory longer, which allows Embryologists to better determine which embryos had the best chance of survival and undergo implantation once transferred to the womb. New ways are being tested to improve IVF and better measure the viability of sperm, eggs and embryos to make it easier for people to have children.


Fertility preservation: The research is focussed to develop and modify methods to preserve sperm, eggs, embryos and other reproductive tissues from individuals who are in need of banking their cells due to cancer or other conditions which are expected to harm their future fertility.


Cryobiology: Research involves mainly on the modification and development of cryopreservation methods and protocols to improve the survival of the gonadal tissues and gametes post thaw, which could be implemented in the clinical use for fertility preservation as well as for the couples seeking fertility treatment.


Reproductive toxicology: Exposures of dietary and environmental molecules on the gonads may pose significant damage to their reproductive potential. Hence, our research is focused to identify such agents and develop strategies to mitigate the detrimental effects using various experimental models.


Title of the Grant

Granting Agency

Principal Investigator

Impact of maternal diabetes on pre-implantation embryo development: Non-invasive approach to assess embryo quality using oxygen consumption


 Dr. Satish Kumar Adiga

Impact of embryological interventions on functional, genetic and epigenetic integrity of gametes and embryos in ART


 Dr. Satish Kumar Adiga

Functional and genetic integrity of spermatozoa extracted using microfluidic separation (MIGLIS)

 SAR Healthline

 Dr. Satish Kumar Adiga

Fertility preservation in cancer affected prepubertal boys: an experimental approach using testicular tissue cryopreservation


 Dr. Satish Kumar Adiga

Merck Foundation Education Grant

Merck Foundation

Dr. Satish Kumar Adiga

Human CORTIcal tissue in vitro CULTure to obtain mature oocyte using novel bioreactors (CORTI-CULT)

 Uni Nap

 Dr. Satish Kumar Adiga

Fertility preservation in cancer affected prepubertal girls: Experimental approaches to address the cryosusceptibility of immature oocytes in relation to the ovarian age


 Dr. Satish Kumar Adiga

Merck Specialities, India Education grant

Merck Specialities

Dr. Satish Kumar Adiga

Understanding the mechanism of action of Moringa oleifera leaf extract in mitigation of cyclophosphamide-induced testicular toxicity


 Dr. Guruprasad Kalthur

Understanding the role of paternal factors on early cleavage pattern, metabolism and endoplasmic reticulum stress in preimplantation embryos


 Dr. Guruprasad Kalthur

Designing liposome based freezing medium for testicular tissue cryopreservation to aid in male fertility preservation


 Dr. Guruprasad Kalthur

Bisphenol A induced ER stress in mitotic and meiotic cells

King Khalid University

Dr. Guruprasad Kalthur






Corresponding Author




The utility of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in assisted reproduction

Adiga SK

Asampille G, Cheredath A,Joseph D, Adiga SK, Atreya HS


Open Biology

Sperm Oxidative Stress during In Vitro Manipulation and Its Effects on Sperm Function and Embryo Development

Talevi R

Gualtieri, R.; Kalthur, G.;
Barbato, V.; Longobardi, S.; Di Rella,
F.; Adiga, S.K.; Talevi, R.



Ethanolic extract of Moringa oleifera leaves alleviate cyclophosphamide-induced testicular toxicity by improving endocrine function and modulating
cell specific gene expression in mouse testis

Kalthur G

Nayak G, Rao A, Mullik P, Mutalik S, Kalthur SG, Adiga SK, Kalthur G


Journal of Ethnopharmacology

The synthesis of a novel pentoxifylline derivative with superior human sperm motility enhancement

Kalthur G

Sandhya Kumari, Sukumar Kotyan, Sinoy Sugunan, G. K. Rajanikant,
Kothanahally S. Sharath Kumar,Satish Kumar Adiga,Jagadeesh Prasad Dasappa, Guruprasad Kalthur


New Journal of Chemistry

Fertility preservation during the COVID-19 pandemic: mitigating the viral contamination risk to reproductive cells in cryostorage

Adiga SK

Prathima Tholeti, Shubhashree Uppangala, Guruprasad Kalthur, Roberto Gualteri


Reproductive Biomedicine Online


The department has been recognized as:

·        Global Embryology Training Centre by Merck Foundation, Germany

·        Centre of Excellence (CoE) by Merck Biopharma, India

·        National Embryology Training Centre by Indian Society for Assisted Reproduction (ISAR).



Indian Society for Assisted Reproduction (ISAR)- Embryology training:

ISAR is the national body for IVF professionals in India which provides inputs to GOI in policy making and regulating the quality practice in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). ISAR has recognized the department as their national training centre. The department and ISAR started this joint training program in collaboration with well-established ART centers across the country.  The candidates who would like to undergo this program will be selected by ISAR. Practical embryology training using animal model will be provided at the department of Clinical Embryology for a period of 2 weeks. 



African doctors benefit from MAHE’s IVF training

MAHE, with Merck Foundation’s ‘Merck more than a mother’ campaign, started to offer IVF training course to African clinicians and Embryologists in 2018. To address the lack of trained health professionals in African countries, KMC aims to increase the number of embryologists who can provide quality service in an ethical manner. So far, 55 doctors and scientists from Africa, Bangladesh, Russia and South East Asian nations have received the training and established programs in their countries. 



‘Merck more than a mother’ campaign





Contact us


Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/nc7awwnqUCaXmXKh8
Email: clinical.embryology@manipal.edu

Phone Number: +91 (0)820-292-3242