History: In 1989, faculty at both WSU and the University of Idaho interested in Reproductive Biology research started meeting regularly to discuss specific research projects and promote interactions among investigators. A training program, using existing graduate programs, was initiated to assist in the recruitment of graduate and postdoctoral trainees interested in reproductive biology research. The number of investigators and the level of interest of several of the colleges increased and an organized unit was formed in 1996. This was assisted with the recruitment of Dr. Michael K. Skinner to WSU to establish, organize and direct the Center. In 1999 the Center obtained a line-item budget from the State of Washington to help support Center Core Laboratories and activities.
Objectives: 1) To foster research of the highest quality and promote collaborative interactions among Center members. 2) To enhance opportunities for extramural funding with emphasis on multi-investigator grants. 3) To enhance the training and education programs of advanced undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral fellows with an interest in the biology of reproduction.
Activities: 1) Workshop meetings on a bi-weekly basis for students, fellows, and faculty to present and discuss specific research projects to obtain feedback, guidance, and promote interactions between investigators. 2) Seminar program for formal presentations by outside and in-house speakers to be provided on a regular basis. 3) Yearly retreat for all faculty, students, fellows, and advisory boards involved in the Center. This involves research presentations to promote interactions and collaborations. 4) Develop and maintain Core Laboratories that provide centralized services to Center Members.
Relationship to other Units on Campus: The Center for Reproductive Biology is an inter-departmental program involving over fifteen departments and seven colleges. In addition, the Center also involves investigators at both Washington State University and the University of Idaho. This is an organized research unit that integrates the investigators throughout the universities.
Reproductive Bilogy Definition/Scope: The broadest definition possible is used for Reproductive Biology and research associated with the Center. In mammals, any process involved or related to reproduction including neuroendocrine control, gonadal function, gamete biology, fertilization, implantation, pregnancy, lactation, reproductive tract biology, reproductive disease (e.g. breast cancer), and fertility. In addition, reproduction in non-mammalian species and plants are considered. The current faculty have areas of interest from domestic animal and human reproduction to fish and plant reproduction. The diversity of the research areas is a strength of the Center and fosters collaborations not previously considered.
Research Interests: The research areas of the faculty are diverse and include: Gamete Biology; Cattle Reproduction; Reproductive Medicine; Neuroendocrinology/Pituitary; Reproductive Tract Biology; Ovary Biology; Reproductive Immunology; Mammary Biology; Reproductive Toxicology; Plant Reproduction; Pregnancy /Implantation; Fish Reproduction; and Testis Biology.
Training Programs: A series of courses have been organized for undergraduate and graduate students in the area of reproductive biology. The training programs or degree programs directly involved include: Animal Physiology; Animal Science; Biochemistry and Biophysics; Biological Sciences; Entomology; Fish and Wildlife Resources; Genetics and Cell Biology; Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry; Neuroscience; Nutrition; Plant Physiology; Pharmacology/Toxicology; School of Biological Sciences, School of Molecular Biosciences; Veterinary Clinical Sciences; Veterinary Microbiology & Pathology; Veterinary Sciences; and Zoology .
Faculty: The Center has over 53 independent faculty as members. Within the laboratories of these faculty members are over 130 students, postdoctoral fellows and technical staff. This number of faculty makes the Center for Reproductive Biology one of the largest Centers in the country.
Funding: The faculty of the Center currently have approximately 6 million in extramural NIH and USDA support. Several large multi-investigator programs have developed. These include a Testis Biology and Male Fertility Program; a Cattle Reproduction Program; a Fish Reproduction Program; Plant Reproduction Program, and a Reproductive Toxicology Program. Several new programs that are developing are mammary biology and breast cancer, and uterine biology and pregnancy.
Information: Additional information on the Center for Reproductive Biology and its faculty can be obtained at its Web site: http://www.reproduction.wsu.edu or by E-mail at: CRB@mail.wsu.edu or by phone at: 509-335-2473.