Faculty / Pat Hunt

Dr. Pat Hunt



Room: BLS 333
Phone: 509-335-4954
Phone: 509-335-4933


Research & Interests

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.

Recent Publications

  • Sartain, C and Hunt, PA, An old culprit but a new story: BPA and ‘NextGen” bisphenols, Fertility and Sterility, in press

  • Hunt, PA, Sathyanarayana, S, Fowler, PA, Trasande, L, 2016, Female Reproductive Disorders, Diseases and Costs of Exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in the European Union. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 101(4):1562-70 PMCID: PMC4880176

  • Gerona, RR, Pan, J, Zota, AR, Schwartz, JM, Friesen, M, Taylor, JA, Hunt, PA, Woodruff, TJ, 2016, Direct measurement of bisphenol A (BPA), BPA glucuronide and BPA sulfate in a diverse and low-income population of pregnant women reveals high exposure, with potential implications for previous exposure estimates: a cross sectional study, Environmental Health, 15:50 DOI 10.1186/s12940-016-0131-2 PMCID: PMC4828888

  • Gruhn, JR, Al-Asmar, N, Fasnacht, R, Maylor-Hagen, H, Peinado, V, Rubio, C, Broman, KW, Hunt, PA, Hassold, T, 2015, Correlations between synaptic initiation and meiotic recombination: A study of humans and mice. Am J Hum Genet 98(1):102-15 PMCID: PMC4716685

  • Yang, QE, Nagaoka, S, Gwost, I, Hunt, PA, Oatley, JM, 2015, Inactivation of Retinoblastoma Protein (Rb1) in the Oocyte: Evidence That Dysregulated Follicle Growth Drives Ovarian Teratoma Formation in Mice. PLoS Genetics, 11(7):e1005355. PMCID: PMC4503754

  • Vrooman, LA, Oatley JM, Griswold JE, Hassold TJ, Hunt PA, 2015, Estrogenic exposure alters the spermatogonial stem cells in the developing testis, permanently reducing crossover levels in adult. PLoS Genet 11(1): e1004949. PMCID: PMC4304829

  • Melin VE, Potineni H, Hunt P, Griswold J, Siems B, Werre SR, Hrubec TC, 2014, Exposure to common quaternary ammonium disinfectants decreases fertility in mice, Reprod Toxicol, 50:163-70. PMID:

  • Hunt, PA, VandeVoort, C, Woodruff, T, Gerona, R, 2014, Invalid controls undermine conclusions of FDA studies, Toxicol Sci, pii:kfu100 PMID:24893712

  • Baier, B, Hunt, P, Broman, KW, Hassold, T, 2014, Variation in genome-wide levels of meiotic recombination is established at the onset of prophase in mammalian meiosis, PLoS Genet, 10(1):e1004125. Doi:10.137 PMID:24497841

  • Rowsey, R, Gruhn, J, Broman, KW, Hunt, PA, Hassold, T, 2014, Examining variation in recombination levels in the human female: a test of the production line hypothesis, Am J Hum Genet, 95(1):108-112. PMID: 24995869

  • Peretz, J, Vrooman, L, Ricke, WA, Hunt, PA, Ehrlich, S, Hauser, R, Padmanabhan, V, Taylor, HS, Swan, SH, VandeVoort, CA, Flaws, JA, 2014, Bisphenol A and reproductive health: Update of experimental and human evidence, 2007-2013, Environ Health Perspect, Jun 4. PMID: 24896072

  • Calhoun, KC, Padilla-Banks, E, Jefferson, WN, Liu, L, Gerrish, KE, Young, SL, Wood, CE, Hunt, PA, VandeVoort, CA, Williams, CJ, 2014, Bisphenol A exposure alters developmental gene expression in the fetal rhesus monkey uterus. PLoS One, Jan 23;9(1):e85894. PMID: 24465770

  • Vom Saal, F, VandeVoort, C, Taylor, J, Welshons, W, Toutain, P, Hunt, P, 2014, Bisphenol A (BPA) pharmacokinetics with daily oral bolus or continuous exposure via Silastic capsules in pregnancy rhesus monkeys: Relevance for human exposures. Reproductive Toxicology, Jun;45:105-16.

  • Vrooman, LA, Nagaoka, SI, Hassold, TJ, Hunt, PA, 2014, Evidence for paternal age-related alterations in meiotic chromosome dynamics in the mouse. Genetics, 196(2): 385-96 PMID: 24318536

  • Gruhn, J, Rubio, C, Fujimoto, V, Broman, KW, Hunt, PA, Hassold, T, 2013, Cytological studies of human meiosis: sex-specific differences in recombination originate at, or prior to, establishment of double stand breaks. PLoS One, Dec 20; 8(12):e85075. PMID: 24376867

  • Gerona, RR, Woodruff, TJ, Dickenson, CA, Pan, J, Schwartz, JM, Sen, S, Friesen, M, Fujimoto, VY, Hunt, PA, 2013, Bisphenol-A (BPA), BPA glucuronide and BPA sulfate in mid-gestation cord serum in a northern California cohort, Environmental Science and Technology 47(21):12477-85. PMID 23941471

  • Rowsey, R, Kashevarova, A, Murdoch, B, Dickenson, C, Woodruff, T, Cheng, E, Hunt, P, Hassold T, 2013, Germline mosaicism does not explain the maternal age effect on trisomy. Am J Med Genet 161(10):2495-503. PMID: 23950106

  • Vandenberg, LN, Hunt, PA, Myers, JP, vom Saal, FS, 2013, Human exposures to bisphenol A: mismatches between data and assumptions. Rev Environ Health 28(1):37-38. PMID: 23612528

  • Murdoch, BM, Owen, N, Stevennse, M, Smith, H, Nagaoka, S, Hassold, T, Mckay, M, Xu, H, Fu, J, Revenkova, E, Jessberger, R, Hunt P, 2013, Altered cohesin dosage affects mammalian meiotic chromosome structure and behavior. PLoS Genetics, 9;e100324. PMID: 23408896

  • Oatley, J and Hunt, PA, 2012, Of mice and (wo)men: purified oogonial stem cells from mouse and human ovaries. Biol Reprod 86(6):196. PMID: 22402962

  • Hunt, PA, Lawson, C, Gieske, M, Murdoch, B, Smith, H, Marre, A, Hassold, T, VandeVoort, CA, 2012, Bisphenol A alters early oogenesis and follicle formation in the fetal ovary of the rhesus monkey. PNAS, 109:17525-30, 2012. PMID: 20312422

  • Nagaoka, S, Hassold, T, Hunt, PA, 2012, Human aneuploidy: mechanisms and new insights to an age old problem. Nat Rev Genet,13(7):493-504. PMID: 22705668