Michael O’Rand




Michael is a reproductive biologist and Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, School of Medicine. Michael has more than 40 years of experience in studying mechanisms underlying fertilization. He is currently transitioning from his faculty position at UNC to lead a startup company, Eppin Pharma, to develop a non-hormonal, reversible male contraceptive.

His long-term research goals at UNC were to define a set of sperm molecules necessary for one or more steps in the fertilization process. His work led to the identification of eppin as a target for male contraception, and he has identified a lead small molecule inhibitor of eppin that will be tested and developed under the aegis of Eppin Pharma for eventual submission for FDA review.

He established the in vitro fertilization laboratory at the UNC School of Medicine’s Memorial Hospital in 1982. This resulted in the first “test tube” baby in North Carolina! Michael is currently researching a non-hormonal male contraceptive with support from the Contraceptive Discovery and Development Branch of the National Institute of Health (NIH).

Michael received his Ph.D. from Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Biology (Developmental Biology and Biochemistry). He did postdoctoral work as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Miami, Institute for Molecular and Cellular Evolution (Biochemistry and Immunology). He has 5 issued or pending patents and more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, including in Science.

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