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Showcase 2020 Distinguished Faculty Address

Distinguished Faculty Address

The 2020 event has been postponed.

More information will follow soon.

Recognizing a faculty member’s exemplary achievement

The annual Distinguished Faculty Address honors a faculty member who has risen to the front ranks of his or her discipline through achievements in research, scholarship, and teaching.

2020 address

Patricia Hunt
Meyer Distinguished Professor, School of Molecular Biosciences

“Errors, Age, and the Environment: When Research Collides with the Real World”

About 10% of the eggs ovulated by women in their twenties are chromosomally abnormal, and the prospects of producing a genetically normal egg grow increasingly bleak with age. To add to our reproductive woes, there is ample evidence that sperm counts have been dropping dramatically during the past several decades and that reproduction in both men and women may be adversely affected by chemicals that contaminate our daily lives.

Professor Patricia Hunt from the School of Molecular Biosciences and Center for Reproductive Biology has spent her research career trying to understand how the environment affects our reproductive life.  She will discuss environmental threats to reproductive health and steps we can take to minimize exposure.

About Professor Hunt

Professor Hunt is recognized worldwide for her discovery of the toxic effects of bisphenol A, or BPA, a chemical widely used in plastic bottles, cups, medical devices, and many other products. In laboratory tests designed to mimic human exposure levels, she found that low amounts of BPA can cause reproductive abnormalities. Her efforts and those of her colleagues led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban BPA in baby bottles and children’s drinking cups. Hunt recently found that chemicals used to replace BPA in BPA-free plastics also trigger genetic defects.

Not only is Hunt a world leader in the study of these endocrine-disrupting chemicals, but also in the study of meiosis, the specialized cell division that produces eggs and sperm. In 2007 Scientific American named Hunt among the nation’s top 50 researchers. In 2015 Hunt was elected a member of the Washington Academy of Sciences. She has published more than 110 articles and trained some 20 graduate students.


Presenters of the Distinguished Faculty Address


Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe
Professor, Department of Psychology


Susmita Bose
Professor, Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture


Douglas R. Call
Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine


Michael K. Skinner
Professor, College of Arts and Sciences


Gerald B. Berthiaume
Professor, College of Arts and Sciences


Raymond Reeves
Professor, School of Molecular Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine


Kenneth L. Nash
Professor, Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences

Complete list and videos of award winners