The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences

Reproductive Biology

Sperm cells reaching an egg
Research being done by Physiology graduate program faculty in the area of reproductive biology

About reproductive biology research


Understanding reproductive systems can be used to define and treat the impact of endocrine dysfunction on fertility and many physiological processes that are impacted by reproductive hormones. Physiological processes that are impacted by alterations in reproductive hormones include immune function, stress responsiveness, bone turnover, metabolism, cardiovascular function. Clinical outcomes related to alterations in reproductive function include fertility, fracture risk, bone health, reproductive cancers, and cardiovascular disease. Methodological approaches range from clinical research in humans to large and small animal models and cellular systems.

Is this option for me?


This option is for students who wish to study the causative factors of infertility, as well as the effects of the endocrine dysfunction on the human body.

Potential specialization areas


  • Chronic low energy availability on reproductive function in humans and animals
  • Infertility
  • Bone loss
  • Gonad and mammary gland function
  • Reproductive genomics and immunology
  • Biological clocks


Paul Bartell
Associate Professor of Avian Biology

The regulation of biological clocks in birds at the systems level.
Mary Jane De Souza
Professor of Kinesiology

Womens health and Physical Activity, Endocrinology of the Female Athlete, Effects of Exercise on the Menstrual Cycle, Female Athlete Triad (Eating disorders, amenorrhea and osteoporosis), Eating Behaviors, Food Intake, and Exercise, Luteal Phase Defects and Amenorrhea, Bone Health and Osteoporosis in Female Athletes, and Energy Deficiency and Bone Health.
Francisco Diaz
Associate Professor of Reproductive Biology

Ovarian physiology. Role of SMAD-mediated signaling in follicular and female germ cell (oocyte) development.
Alan Leslie Johnson
Walther H. Ott Professor in Avian Biology

Ovarian dynamics and follicle differentiation; granulosa cell tumors.
Wansheng Liu
Professor of Genomics

Troy Ott
Professor of Reproductive Physiology
Associate Director for Graduate Education

Fertility and reproductive immunology in domestic farm animals.
Joy Pate
Professor of Reproductive Physiology
C. Lee Rumberger and Family Chair in Agricultural Sciences
Director, Center for Reproductive Biology and Health

Specializing in the area of corpus luteum function. Primary research interests focus on the regulation of luteolysis, prostaglandin production by the corpus luteum, and the interactions between the immune system & the reproductive system.
Ramesh Ramachandran
Professor of Molecular Endocrinology

The influence of hypothalamic neurotransmitters, hormones, and their receptors on avian reproduction.
Nancy Williams
Professor and Head of Kinesiology

Exercise physiology, effects of alterations in energy balance on reproductive function, neuroendocrinology, metabolism, clinical issues pertaining to womens health and reproductive status.