Jacob Rajfer, MD
Dr. Jacob Rajfer is currently a professor of urology at the UCLA School of Medicine. He received his MD degree from Northwestern University in Chicago in 1972, completed his urological training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1978, and attained board certification in urology in 1980. Dr. Rajfer has authored over 150 papers, written over 40 chapters in books dealing with urological disorders, and was the editor of the only textbook dedicated solely to urologic endocrinology. He was former president of the Los Angeles Urological Society (1995) and has received numerous awards and honors.
In 1980, Dr. Rajfer came to Los Angeles and since then he and his colleagues have developed a clinical and research expertise in several areas of urology, in particular, male infertility and impotence. Dr. Rajfer's team was the first to show that sperm can be aspirated from the ductal system of the testis/epididymis/vas and used successfully for fertilization. In 1987, working in collaboration with Drs. Turner and Howards from the University of Virginia, Dr. Rajfer's team showed that a possible detrimental effect of a varicocele on the testis (a common cause of male infertility) could be an inhibitory effect of the varicocele on the ability of the testis to manufacture testosterone normally. In the 1980's, Dr. Rajfer and his colleagues identified that some men who do not have sperm in the ejaculate (azoospermia) may be carriers of the cystic fibrosis gene and should be evaluated genetically for this. In 1988, Dr. Rajfer originated the idea that nitric oxide was the chemical that was released in the penis that produced an erection, and he and his colleague, Louis Ignarro, demonstrated that this was the case in both animals and humans. It was this discovery by Drs. Rajfer and Ignarro that formed the basis for the development of the first oral drug for impotence, Viagra