Patricia Hunt receives March of Dimes prize for research on prenatal development and pregnancy’s impact from age and environment

Dr. Patricia Hunt, PhD, Regents Professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences at Washington State University discusses her recent award, as well as her research in prenatal development and how it is impacted by aging, mistakes in meiosis, and environmental contaminants.

Throughout her career, Dr. Hunt has focused on understanding how prenatal development is impacted by aging, mistakes in meiosis, and environmental contaminants. She examined the impact of advanced material age on egg quality and the high incidences of chromosomally abnormal eggs. Dr. Hunt famously made the unexpected discovery that exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA), a common substance in plastics, can increase the risk of prenatal abnormalities by altering egg quality. As a result, she received national recognition for her discoveries on endocrine disrupting plastics and influenced consumers to demand BPA-free products

Dr. Hunt earned her BS in Genetics from Michigan State University and MS and PhD in Reproductive Biology from the University of Hawaii. She completed postdoctoral training at the MRC Mammalian Development Unit and at the Jackson Laboratory. She began her tenure track faculty position in 1998 at Emory University before moving to Case Western Reserve University, where she became full Professor and Chair of Genetics. She later moved to Washington State University.

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