Gary Cherr

image of Gary Cherr



Environmental Toxicology
Bodega Marine Laboratory

Offices and Labs

Bodega Marine Laboratory
(707) 875-2051

Profile Introduction

Sperm-egg interaction in invertebrates, lower vertebrates, and primates. Reproductive and developmental toxicology


1984 PhD Zoology University of California, Davis
1979 BA Biology Sonoma State University

Research Interests

Mammalian sperm beta-defensins and their role in sperm transport and immuno-protection.  Sperm motility initiation in fish and role of egg ligands and environmental ionic conditions. The effect of contaminants on early development in sea urchins and fish.

Department and Center Affiliations

Environmental Toxicology and Nutrition, Bodega Marine Lab


American Chemical Society

CBS Grad Group Affiliations

Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology

Specialties / Focus

Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology
  • Reproductive Physiology
  • Developmental Physiology
  • Cellular Physiology

Graduate Groups not Housed in CBS

Pharmacology and Toxicology

Teaching Interests

Environmental stress and development, Biology of fertilization, Undergraduate research in cell biology, Aquatic toxicology


ETX 127 Environmental stress and development in marine organisms (Summer 1)
NPB 141 Physiological Adaptations in Marine Organisms (Spring)
NPB 141P Physiological Adaptations Lab and Research (Spring)
ETX 120 Aquatic Toxicology (Winter)


1/12/2015 3:42:25 PM
  • Vines C.A, Yoshida K, Griffin FJ, Pillai MC, Morisawa M, Yanagimachi R and GN Cherr. 2002. Motility Initiation in Herring Sperm is Regulated by Reverse Sodium-Calcium Exchange. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 99:2026-2031
  • Pillai, M.C., C.A. Vines, A.H. Wikramanayake and G.N. Cherr. 2003. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons disrupt axial development in sea urchin embryos through a Beta-Catenin dependent pathway. Toxicology, 186: 93-108.

  • Tollner, T.L., Venners, S.A., Hollox, E.J., Yudin, A.I., Liu. X., Tang, G., Houxun, X., Kays, R.J., Lau, T., Overstreet, J.W., Xu, X., Bevins, C.L., and G.N. Cherr.  2011. A Common Beta-Defensin 126 Gene Variant Underlies Impaired Sperm Function and Subfertility.  Science Translational Medicine, 3, 92ra65.  

  • Incardona, J.P., C.A. Vines, B.F. Anulacion, D.H. Baldwin, H.L. Day, B.L. French, J.S. Labenia, T.L. Linbo, M.S. Myers, O.P. Olson, C.A. Sloan, S. Sol, F.J. Griffin, K. Menard, S.G. Morgan, J.E. West, T.K. Collier, G.M. Ylitalo, G.N. Cherr, and N.L. Scholz.  2012. Unexpectedly high mortality in Pacific herring embryos exposed to the 2007 Cosco Busan oil spill in San Francisco Bay.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 109(2):E51-58.

  • Tollner, T.L., C.L. Bevins, and G.N. Cherr.  2012.  Multifunctional glycoprotein DEFB126—A curious story of defensin-clad spermatozoa.  Nature Reviews Urology, 9:365- 375.

  • Fairbairn, E.A., J. Bonthius, and G.N. Cherr.  2012.  Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and dibutyl phthalate disrupt dorsal-ventral axis determination via the Wnt/ß-catenin signaling pathway in zebrafish embryos.  Aquatic Toxicology, 124-125:188-196. 

  • Brander , S.M., R.E. Connon, G. He, J.A. Hobbs, K.L. Smalling, S.J. The, J. W. White, I. Werner, M.S. Denison, and G.N. Cherr.  2013. From ‘omics to otoliths: Responses of an estuarine fish to endocrine disrupting compounds across biological scales.  PLoS ONE, 8(9). 

  • Yanagimachi, R., G.N. Cherr, T. Andoh, T. Harumi, C.A. Vines, M.C. Pillai, F.J. Griffin, H. Matsubara, T. Weathersby, and K. Kaneshiro. 2013. Sperm attractant in the micropyle region of fish and insect eggs. Biology of Reproduction, 88(2):47, 1-11.

  • Corsi, I.,  G.N. Cherr, H.S. Lenihan, J. Labille, M. Hasselov, L. Canesi, F. Dondero, G. Frenzilli, D. Hristozov, V. Puntes, G. Libralato, A. Marcomini, E. Sabbioni, and V. Matranga. 2014. Common strategies and technologies for the ecosafety assessment and design of nanomaterials entering the marine environment. ACS Nano, 8(10):9694-9709.

  • Murata, K., F.S. Conte, E. McInnis, T.H. Fong, and G.N. Cherr. 2014. Identification of the origin and localization of chorion (egg envelope) proteins in an ancient fish, the white sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanusBiology of Reproduction, 90(6): 132,1-12.