Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Bringing innovation and community together to advance animal and human health
The life history of mammals involves a complex interplay in physiology between the mother and her developing young within the uterus. The placenta transports nutrients and gases but the mother also undergoes profound adaptations in her metabolic, brain and behavior, blood and immune systems during gestation to support fetal growth.
On Friday, March 20, Dr. Jay Cross will discuss his research into the role placental hormones play in the fine metabolic balancing act which is pregnancy.
Hormones from the placenta are often viewed as agents in a ‘genetic conflict’ between the fetus and mother over metabolic resources, though they are rapidly evolving and differ widely across mammals. Dr. Cross’s recent work has focused on understanding how different mammals accomplish similar adaptations to pregnancy with different hormone modules.
Dr. Cross is a professor of Comparative Biology & Experimental Medicine in the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM), and a professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Medical Genetics, and Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the Cumming School of Medicine.
He was the founding Director of the Institute of Maternal & Child Health a multi-disciplinary institute focused on biomedical, clinical and social aspects of child health and development. He also founded the Training Program in Genetics, Child Development & Health, and the Clara Christie Centre for Genomics and Modeling of Human Disease. Dr. Cross has published over 120 primary research articles and book chapters and is an internationally-recognized expert in the areas of animal reproduction, embryology, stem cell biology, and molecular genetics particularly in the areas of embryo implantation, placental development and maternal adaptations to pregnancy. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and received the Pioneer Award from the Frontiers in Reproduction Program at the Marine Biology Laboratory, Wood’s Hole in 2009.
Among his long list of honours, Dr. Cross most recently was awarded the University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine Research Excellence Award in September 2014.