One day in the future, the current increased likelihood that older pregnant women will produce chromosomally abnormal children may be greatly diminished. That’s the ultimate goal of internationally renowned geneticist Patricia Hunt and her research colleagues, who are examining the role age plays in altering chromosomes in human eggs.

Dr. Hunt’s research focuses on germ cell development to understand the genetic control of sex determination and the meiotic process (cell division that halves the number of chromosomes in reproductive cells) in mammals. Although researchers have determined that the maternal age effect is the result of errors in the cell division process that typically occurs during the completion of the first meiotic division, the exact role of age in the process remains unknown.

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Featuring: Patricia Hunt, Ph.D.

A member of the Washington State University faculty since January 2005, Dr. Hunt receives her primary research funding from the National Institutes of Health. She is a former faculty member at Case Western Reserve University and Emory University.

Dr. Hunt earned a bachelor’s degree at Michigan State University and a master’s degree and doctorate in anatomy and reproductive biology from the University of Hawaii.