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Karl Kerns, PhD


MU Vanguard Boar Extender: The Second Generation of Swine AI

AndroLabb is a University of Missouri startup working in collaboration with International Boar Semen (IBS). AndroLabb founders, Drs. Peter Sutovsky and Karl Kerns, are known for renowned sperm fertilization competency discoveries, and IBS is North America’s first genetic boar stud. U.S. swine herd reproductive performance is limited more by sire subfertility than dam. Today’s boar semen processing and handling techniques have been largely unchanged since the 1980s. The newly identified, but long-time existing problem, is that spermatozoa lifespan is shortened due to processing techniques, limiting overall pounds/sow/marketed. Current USDA NIFA SBIR Phase I funded development is optimizing two patented/provisionally patented intellectual properties for commercialization into the swine industry from the University of Missouri with later application to bovine and human. The core technology is a new generation of fresh boar semen extenders, positively influencing and preserving boar fertility to maximize usage of superior boar genetics across the global sow herd. Future technology commercialization includes biology and data-driven sperm fertility competency algorithms and adapting the technologies for bull studs and human fertility clinics.