Fuller Bazer, PhD
University Distinguished Professor
Department of Animal Science
Wolf Prize in Agriculture, 2003
Professor Fuller W. Bazer is a reproductive biologist/animal scientist whose research focuses on interactions between the maternal uterine environment and developing conceptus (embryo/fetus and placenta). His research integrates biochemistry and physiology to define expression, endocrine control, and function of molecules secreted into the uterus during pregnancy and required for conceptus development. He discovered uteroferrin, a purple acid phosphatase produced by uterine glandular epithelium under the control of progesterone, that supplies maternal iron to the conceptus and stimulates expression of transcription factors for hematopoiesis and synthesis of hemoglobin genes. Those discoveries changed the management of animals to increase conceptus survival and pregnancy success. He also identified the pregnancy recognition signals in swine as estradiol and interferon tau in ruminants, as well as their mechanisms of action to ensure maintenance of ovarian corpora lutea for production of progesterone, the hormone of pregnancy. He is now identifying roles of interferon tau to effect changes in gene expression in uterine epithelia critical to conceptus development including transporters for glucose, fructose and arginine that stimulate proliferation, migration and adhesion of trophectoderm cells via the mechanistic target of rapamycin cell signaling pathway. He and his colleagues identified roles of arginine for synthesis of polyamines and nitric oxide, and discovered the arginine decarboxylase-agmatinase alternative pathway for synthesis of polyamines in ruminant conceptuses. He is defining the roles of fructose in conceptuses mediated via the hexosamine pathway to enhance development. Professor Bazer earned the bachelor of science in biology from Centenary College of Louisiana, the master of science in animal science from Louisiana State University and the Ph.D. in animal science/reproductive biology from North Carolina State University in 1969. He was a graduate research professor at the University of Florida (1968-1992) before joining the faculty of Texas A&M University in 1992. He holds the titles of regents fellow, distinguished university professor, and presidential impact fellow and he is the holder of the O.D. Butler chair in animal science/reproductive biology.