Gary Cherr

Gary Cherr

Position Title

Bodega Marine Laboratory
Department of Environmental Toxicology, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Department of Nutrition, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Bodega Marine Laboratory

Profile Introduction

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

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.

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Pharmacology and 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

Professional Societies

  • American Chemical Society
  • AAAS


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


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.