Welcome to Developmental and Reproductive Biology (DRB)
Graduate Program Website!!!

        The Department of Anatomy, Biochemistry and Physiology at the University of Hawaii School of Medicine offers a graduate program leading to MS and PhD degrees in Developmental and Reproductive Biology. In our program, students are enganged in laboratory research and classes that integrate diverse disciplines, such as the study of:

  • Embryo development
  • Stem cells
  • Organogenesis
  • Assisted reproductive technologies (ART)
  • Gene therapy
  • Devo-Evo
  • Anatomical imaging
        Whether your goal is pure basic science or translational research, we offer opportunities that will enable you to impact biomedical science and our understanding of life!


Recent Publications (2015-2016) by DRB Graduate Students

         Names of the DRB students are underlined.


  • Li AS, Marikawa Y. (2016) Adverse effect of valproic acid on an in vitro gastrulation model entails activation of retinoic acid signaling. Reproductive Toxicology 66:68-83.
  • Yamauchi Y, Riel JM, Ruthig VA, Ortega E, Mitchell MJ, Ward MA. (2016) Two genes substitute for the mouse Y chromosome for spermatogenesis and reproduction. Science 351:514-516. [the first 3 authors contributed equally]
  • Lee AJ, Polgar N, Napoli JA, Lui VH, Tamashiro KK, Fujimoto BA, Thompson KS, Fogelgren B. (2016) Fibroproliferative response to urothelial failure obliterates the ureter lumen in a mouse model of prenatal congenital obstructive nephropathy. Scientific Reports 6:31137.
  • Takahashi N, Davy PM, Gardner LH, Mathews J, Yamazaki Y, Allsopp RC. (2016) Hypoxia inducible factor 1 alpha is expressed in germ cells throughout the murine life cycle. PLOS One 11:e0154309.
  • Warkus EL, Yuen AA, Lau CL, Marikawa Y. (2016) Use of In Vitro Morphogenesis of Mouse Embryoid Bodies to Assess Developmental Toxicity of Therapeutic Drugs Contraindicated in Pregnancy. Toxicological Sciences 149:15-30.
  • Ortega MA, Ko M, Marh J, Finberg A, Oshiro M, Ward WS. (2016) Presence of the paternal pronucleus assists embryo in overcoming cycloheximide induced abnormalities in zygotic mitosis. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 117:1806-1812.
  • Ortega MA, Nguyen H, Ward WS. (2016) ORC proteins in the mammalian zygote. Cell and Tissue Research 363:195-200.
  • Yamauchi Y, Riel JM, Ruthig VA, Ward MA (2015). Mouse Y-encoded Transcription Factor Zfy2 is Essential for Sperm Formation and Function in Assisted Fertilization. PLoS Genetics 11:e1005476.
  • Ortega EA, Ruthig VA, Ward MA. (2015) Sry-Independent Overexpression of Sox9 Supports Spermatogenesis and Fertility in the Mouse. Biology of Reproduction 93:141.
  • Gawecka JE, Boaz S, Kasperson K, Nguyen H, Evenson DP, Ward WS. (2015) Luminal fluid of epididymis and vas deferens contributes to sperm chromatin fragmentation. Human Reproduction 30:2725-2736.
  • Li AS, Marikawa Y. (2015) An in vitro gastrulation model recapitulates the morphogenetic impact of pharmacological inhibitors of developmental signaling pathways. Molecular Reproduction and Development 82:1015-1036.
  • Higuchi CM, Maeda Y, Horiuchi T, Yamazaki Y. (2015) A Simplified Method for Three-Dimensional (3-D) Ovarian Tissue Culture Yielding Oocytes Competent to Produce Full-Term Offspring in Mice. PLoS One 10:e0143114.
  • Fogelgren B, Polgar N, Lui VH, Lee AJ, Tamashiro KK, Napoli JA, Walton CB, Zuo X, Lipschutz JH. (2015) Urothelial defects from targeted inactivation of exocyst Sec10 in mice cause ureteropelvic junction obstructions. PLoS One 10:e0129346.
  • Polgar N, Lee AJ, Lui VH, Napoli JA, Fogelgren B. (2015) The exocyst gene Sec10 regulates renal epithelial monolayer homeostasis and apoptotic sensitivity. American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology 309:C190-201.
  • Nguyen H, Ortega MA, Ko M, Marh J, Ward WS. (2015) ORC4 surrounds extruded chromatin in female meiosis. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 116:778-786.


Important Notice to All Students

        The DRB Graduate Program Committee has recently issued the following two documents to define the nature of PhD and Master degrees (Plan A/B) in our program:

- Degrees offered in the DRB Graduate Program
- Master Plan A Research Criteria

These are relevant and applicable to both current as well as incoming students.