Dr. Evenson

Meet A World Leader

Dr. Donald Evenson Ph.D., HCLD, grew up on a family farm near Brookings, SD. He received his B.A. degree in Biology and Chemistry at Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD.

He received his Ph.D. degree from the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, followed by a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute of Molecular Biophysics at Florida State University. After two years as a Research fellow at the Union Carbide Research Institute at Tarrytown, NY, he took a joint faculty appointment between the Memorial Sloan Kettering Center for Cancer Research and the Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences for eleven years in New York City.

Dr. Evenson is the original pioneer who developed both the concept that broken DNA in sperm was a significant cause of infertility, and the first sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) test, the SCSA® test (Science, 1980). Before bringing this new test to human infertility clinics, Dr. Evenson spent years doing fertility testing in animals that were not possible in humans; the data were very clear, the SCSA® test showed a solid difference between sperm that produced high fertility and those that produced low fertility.

In 1999, a milestone paper was published in Human Reproduction on a large and comprehensive, twelve-month clinical study of natural pregnancy conducted at Georgetown University. The data very clearly showed that men with low levels of SCSA® defined DNA Fragmentation Index (DFI) had greater success at establishing a pregnancy over the initial three-month period, and also those who established a pregnancy during months 9-12 who had a higher DFI. Furthermore, the men who did not establish a pregnancy over the 12 months study had an even higher DFI. Higher DFI also led to more miscarriages.

Dr. Evenson has received near continuous NIH, NSF, USDA and equivalent research grants for 25 years with several million dollars funded. With this aid, Dr. Evenson and colleagues have published more than 200 research articles and book chapters and given many seminars around the world. (see Human Research section in this WEB).

Dr. Evenson retired from South Dakota State University in 2006 as Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and then became an adjunct professor in the OB/GYN Department at Sanford Medical School, University of South Dakota.

Since 2006, Dr. Evenson has been the President and Director of SCSA Diagnostics in Brookings, SD, where semen samples from numerous infertility clinics across North America and the UK are sent for SCSA® measures. The SCSA® test has been brought to human and animal fertility clinics in many countries on all continents.