General goal is to maximize the reproductive efficiency of cattle, swine and sheep by improving methods to synchronize estrus and timing of ovulation, develop technologies to evaluate oocyte competence in females and fertility in males, and improve embryo/fetal survival during gestation, thus increasing the number of offspring born. Advances in animal reproduction are translated to human reproductive health and assisted reproductive therapy.
A unique characteristic of the Animal Reproduction faculty is the diversity of scientific expertise within the group. Faculty within the Division of Animal Sciences have made and will continue to make important contributions to animal agriculture and biomedical science through both basic/discovery and translational/development research. An important focus of the group is to elucidate important cellular and molecular processes regulating the female estrous cycle, testicular and epididymal function, fertilization and early embryonic development, and placental function, particularly the role of ovarian, uterine and embryo products involved with successful maintenance of pregnancy and the birth of live offspring. Knowledge of these reproductive processes can be utilized to develop the approaches to better control the timing of ovulation, fertilization, and artificial insemination, and to increase embryo/fetal survival to enhance fertility.
The Interdisciplinary Reproduction and Health Group (IRHG). The IRHG was organized and established through a faculty driven, grass roots effort in 2016 to develop an integrative interdisciplinary program that transcends traditional departmental, college and system boundaries to foster excellence in reproduction, health research and education at Mizzou. The IRHG promotes communication and collegiality among scientists in the University of Missouri System and fosters the development and growth of research and training programs in Reproduction, Genomics and Health, strengthening our achievements in Food for the Future and One Health/One Medicine.