Professor of Molecular Biosciences, Washington State University

Research in the Hunt laboratory focuses on mammalian germ cells, with a major emphasis on meiosis, the specialized cell division that gives rise to the haploid germ cells. In the human female the incidence of pregnancy loss due to chromosome abnormalities is extraordinarily high. This is a reflection of the fact that the meiotic process is highly error-prone and the incidence of errors in women is strongly influenced by age. Thus, a major research focus is on understanding the control of the normal meiotic process in the mammalian female, the mechanisms(s) by which errors occur, and the way in which age influences female meiosis. In addition, a serendipitous finding that resulted from an accidental exposure in our animal facility, has led to a new avenue of research for the Hunt laboratory. The inadvertent exposure of our mice to the estrogen mimic, bisphenol A (BPA) from damaged caging materials (polycarbonate cages and water bottles) led to the realization that environmentally relevant doses of BPA cause meiotic disruption and aneuploidy in the mouse. Current studies focus on determining the reproductive effects of exposure to chemicals with estrogenic activity during different developmental time points.


Experience

  • –present
    Professor of Molecular Biosciences, Washington State University