SMB Faculty Profiles

Pat Hunt

Pat Hunt

Regents Professor
Room: BLS 333
Office Phone: 509-335-4954 Lab Phone: 509-335-4933



Research & Interests

Research in the Hunt laboratory focuses on the genetic control of reproduction in mammals, with a major emphasis on understanding the causes of human chromosome abnormalities, human infertility, and environmental effects on reproduction. The incidence of pregnancy loss due to chromosome abnormalities is extraordinarily high in humans. This is a reflection of the fact that human female meiosis 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 both male and female meiosis. In addition, there is growing concern that chemical contaminants common in our daily lives may adversely impact both male and female reproduction. The inadvertent exposure of our mice to bisphenol A (BPA) from damaged caging materials (polycarbonate cages and water bottles) in 1998 led to the realization that environmentally relevant levels of this chemical can disrupt female meiosis, increasing the incidence of aneuploid eggs and embryos.  Nearly two decades later, it is clear that BPA and other endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs, i.e., chemicals that mimic of interfere with the actions of our endogenous hormones) can exert profound effects on both male and female gametogenesis. Our current studies focus on determining the critical developmental windows of exposure in both sexes and the mechanisms by which EDCs induce effects on the testis, ovary, and developing male and female reproductive tract. 

Select Publications
  • Horan TS, Marre A, Hassold T, Lawson C, Hunt PA. (2017) Germline and reproductive tract effects intensify in male mice with successive generations of exposure. PLoS Genetics 13(7): e1006885 PMID: 28727826 PMCID: PMC5519010
  • Hrubec TC, Melin VE, Shea CS, Ferguson EE, Garofola C, Repine CM, Chapman TW, Patel HR, Razvi RM, Sugrue JE, Potineni H, Magnin-Bissel G, Hunt PA. (2017) Ambient and Dosed Exposure to Quaternary Ammonium Disinfectants Causes Neural Tube Defects in Rodents. Birth Defects Res 109(14):1166-1178 PMID: 28618200 PMCID:
  • Hunt, PA (2017) Oocyte biology: Do the wheels fall off with age?  Dispatch in Current Biology 27(7):R266-269 PMID: 28376333 PMCID:
  • Wang S, Hassold T, Hunt P, White MA, Zickler D and Kleckner N (2017) Inefficient crossover maturation underlies elevated aneuploidy in human female meiosis Cell 168(6):977-989.e17 PMID: 28262352 PMCID: PMC5408880
  • Ahuja JS, Sandhu R, Mainpal R, Lawson C, Henley H, Hunt PA, Yanowitz JL, Börner GV, (2017) Control of meiotic pairing and recombination by chromosomally tethered 26S proteasome. Science 355(6323):408-411 PMID: 28059715 PMCID:
  • Gruhn J, Al-Asmar N, Fasnacht R, Maylor-Hagen H, Peinado V, Rubio C, Broman K, Hunt P, Hassold T (2016) Correlations between synaptic initiation and meiotic recombination: A study of humans and mice. Am J Hum Genet 98, 102-115 PMID: 26749305 PMCID: PMC4716685
  • Sartain C, Hunt PA (2016) An old culprit but a new story: BPA and "NextGen” bisphenols Fertility and Sterility PMID: 27504789 PMCID: PMC5304938
  • 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. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 101(4), 1562-70 PMID: 27003299 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. Environ Health. 15, 50 PMID: 27071747 PMCID: PMC4828888
  • VandeVoort CA, Gerona RR, vom Saal FS, Tarantal AF, Hunt PAe, Hillenweck A, Zalco D (2016) Maternal and Fetal Pharmacokinetics of Oral Radiolabeled and Authentic Bisphenol A in the Rhesus Monkey. Plos One 11(12):e0165410. PMID: 27930651 PMCID: PMC5145146
  • Attina, TM, Hauser, R, Sathyanarayana, S, Hunt, PA, Bourguignon, JP, Myers, JP, DiGangi, J, Zoeller, RT, Trasande, L (2016) Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the USA: a population-based disease burden and cost analysis. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 4(12):996-1003 PMID: 27765541 PMCID:
  • Trasande, L, Zoeller, RT, Hass, U, Kortenkamp, A, Grandjean, P, Myers, JP, DiGangi, J, Hunt, PA, Rudel, R, Sathyanarayana, S, Bellanger, M, Hauser, R, Legler, J, Skakkebaek, NE, Heindel, JJ (2016) Burden of disease and costs of exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals in the European Union: an updated analysis. Andrology 4(4):565-72 PMID: 27003928 PMCID: PMC5244983
  • Vrooman L, Oatley J, Griswold J, Hassold T, Hunt P (2015) Estrogenic exposure alters the spermatogonial stem cells in the developing testis, permanently reducing crossover levels in the adult. PLoS Genet 11 PMID: 25615633 PMCID: PMC4304829
  • Yang QE, Nagaoka SI, 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 Genet. 11(7) PMID: 26176933 PMCID: PMC4503754
  • Rowsey R, Gruhn J, Broman K, Hunt P, Hassold T (2014) Examining variation in recombination levels in the human female: a test of the production line hypothesis. Am J Hum Genet 95, 108-112 PMID: 24995869 PMCID: PMC4085639
  • Vrooman L, Nagaoka S, Hassold T, Hunt P (2014) Evidence for paternal-age related alterations in meiotic chromosome dynamics in the mouse.      Genetics 196, 385-396 PMID: 24318536 PMCID: PMC3914612
  • Baier B, Hunt P, Broman K, Hassold T (2014) Variation in genome-wide levels of meiotic recombination is established at the onset of prophase in mammalian males. PLoS Genet. 10 PMID: 24497841 PMCID: PMC3907295
  • 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: 25483128 PMCID: PMC4260154
  • Hunt PA, VandeVoort C, Woodruff T, Gerona R (2014) Invalid controls undermine conclusions of FDA studies. Toxicol Sci. PMID: 24893712 PMCID: PMC4833096
  • 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. Environ Health Perspect. 122(8), 775-86 PMID: 24896072 PMCID: PMC4123031
  • 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 macaque uterus. PLoS One 9(1) PMID: 24465770 PMCID: PMC3900442
  • Vom Saal FS, VandeVoort CA, Taylor JA, Welshons WV, Toutain PT, Hunt PA (2014) Bisphenol A (BPA) pharmacokinetics with daily oral bolus or continuous exposure via Silastic capsules in pregnancy rhesus monkeys: Relevance for human exposures. Reprod Toxicol 45:105-116 PMID: 24582107 PMCID: PMC4035044
  • Gruhn J, Rubio C, Broman K, Hunt P, Hassold T (2013) Cytological studies of human meiosis: sex-specific differences in recombination originate at, or prior to, establishment of double-strand breaks. PLoS One 8, 85075 PMID: 24376867 PMCID: PMC3869931
  • 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, 2495-2503 PMID: 23950106 PMCID: PMC4012642
  • Gerona RR, Woodruff TJ, Dickenson CA, Pan J, Schwartz JM, Sen S, Friesen MW, Fujimoto VY, Hunt PA (2013) Bisphenol-A (BPA), BPA glucuronide and BPA sulfate in mid-gestation cord serum in a northern California cohort. Environ Sci Technol. 47(21), 12477-85 PMID: 23941471 PMCID: PMC3881559
  • 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), 37-58 PMID: 23612528 PMCID:
  • Murdoch B, Owen N, Stevense M, Smith H, Nagaoka S, Hassold T, McKay M, Xu H, Fu J, Revenkova E, Jessberger R, Hunt P (2013) Altered cohesin gene dosage affects Mammalian meiotic chromosome structure and behavior. PLoS Genet. 9(2) PMID: 23408896 PMCID: PMC3567145

List of Publications

Washington State University