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James J. Fabrizio, PhD

James Fabrizio

Virginia A. LiVolsi, M.D. Professor in Biology
Post-doctoral training, University of Pennsylvania
PhD, St. John’s University
BS, Manhattan College

Areas of Interest

  • Spermatogenesis
  • Drosophila genetics
  • Microscopy
  • Molecular Biology

Dr. Fabrizio’s lab seeks to uncover genes involved in the late-stage maturation of spermatozoa in Drosophila. Specifically, since sperm in all animal species occurs within a common cytoplasm, all animals have to resolve individual sperm from this cytoplasm in a process known as spermatid individualization. Indeed, a failure to individualize sperm is the predominant cause of male infertility in humans. Given the genetic similarity (65-70 percent) between Drosophila and humans, we hope our work will shed some light on the molecular mechanisms behind human male fertility.

Dr. Fabrizio received a National Institutes of Health grant for $200,000 as principal investigator. He will be incorporating methods and knowledge of genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, and genomics to study sperm development in the fruit fly, or Drosophila melanogaster.


  • BIOL 111 General Biology
  • BIOL 217 Genetics
  • BIOL 302 Developmental Biology
  • BIOL 310/410 Research in Biology
  • BIOL 321 Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 331 Cell Biology
  • NSCI 301 Astronomy


Fabrizio J.J., Rollins J, Bazinet CW, Wegener S, Koziy I, Daniel R, Lombardo V, Pryce D, Bharrat K, Innabi E, Villanobos M, Mendoza G, Ferrara E, Rodway S, Vicioso M, Siracusa V, Dailey E, Pronovost J, Innabi S, Patel V, DeSouza N, Quaranto D, Niknejad A.(2020). Tubulin-binding cofactor E-like (TBCEL), the protein product of the mulet gene, is required in the germline for the regulation of inter-flagellar microtubule dynamics during spermatid individualization. Biol Open. Feb 26; 9(2). pii: bio049080. doi: 10.1242/bio.049080.

Fabrizio, J.J. (2020) First person interview (Published alongside Fabrizio et al., 2020, above) Biology Open 2020 9: bio051151 doi: 10.1242/bio.051151 Published 26 February 2020

Fabrizio, J.J. (2017) Fruit flies help scientists seek treatment for male infertility.  Research Features, Sept 2017,

Fabrizio, J.J., Aqeel, N. CoteJ., Estevez, J., Jongoy, M., Mangal, V., Tema, W., Rivera, A., Wnukowski, J., Bencosme, Y. (2012) mulet (mlt) encodes a tubulin-binding cofactor E-like homolog required for spermatid individualization in Drosophila melanogaster. . Fly 6:261-272.

Fabrizio, J.J., Hickey, C.A., Stabrawa, C.T., Meytes, V., Jessica A. Hutter, J.A, Talbert, C. and Regis, N. (2007). Imp (IGF-II mRNA-binding protein) is expressed during spermatogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster.  Fly 2:1, 47-52.

Fabrizio, J.J., Boyle, M., and DiNardo, S. (2003). A somatic role for eyes absent (eya) and sine oculis (so) in Drosophila spermatocyte development.  Dev. Biol. 258: 117-128.

Fabrizio, J.J., Hime, G., Lemmon, S.K., and Bazinet, C.W. (1998). Genetic dissection of sperm individualization in Drosophila melanogaster.  Development 125: 1833-1843.


  • Application 1 R15 GM111382-01
    • The role of Tubulin-binding cofactor E (TBCE)-Like, the protein product of the mulet gene, in Drosophila spermatid individualization
    • Total costs: $250,595; Direct costs: $195,000
    • Awarded by The National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on September 15, 2014. (This particular year, only 19% of AREAs were funded; this grant was scored a 14 on a scale of 10-90 where 10 is a perfect score.)
  • Application 1 R15 GM072548-01
    • Somatic Genes required for post-meiotic spermatogenesis
    • Total costs: $202,833; Direct Costs: $150,000
    • Awarded by The National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on March 1, 2005. (This particular year, only the top 28% of AREAs were funded; this grant was scored a 157 on a scale of 100-500 where 100 is a perfect score.)