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Rex A Hess

Professor Emeritus, Comparative Biosciences
2001 S. Lincoln Ave.
2001 S Lincoln
M/C 002
Urbana, IL  61802

show listLinks

show listAcademic Positions

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Veterinary Biosciences, University of Illinois

Faculty Director of Microscopic Imaging Laboratory

Adjunct Scientist; Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center, Emory University

Affiliate; Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Illinois

Associate Professor; Dept. of Veterinary Biosciences, University of Illinois

Director of Center for Microscopic Imaging, University of Illinois

Professor; Department of Veterinary Biosciences, University of Illinois

Chair of Morphology Division, Department of Veterinary Biosciences

Affiliate member, Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois

Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Comparative Biosciences, University of Illinois\

Visiting Professor, University of Missouri-Columbia, Bond Life Sciences Center

 

show listResearch Interests

Testicular growth and development, estrogen regulation of the male reproductive tract, spermatogonial stem cell regulation and the effects of gene disruption on spermatogenesis and efferent ductule structure and function.

show listEducation

B.S.        1971    Education/Zoology, Cum Laude, University of Missouri-Columbia

M.S.       1975    Physiology Area, University of Missouri-Columbia

Ph.D.      1983    Animal Physiology, Clemson University

Postdoc   1983-1986 Health Effects, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, RTP, N.C.

show listBiography

Dr. Hess studied Zoology and Science Education for an undergraduate degree at the University of Missouri-Columbia with High Honors in 1971. While working full-time in Poultry Research and later as a technician in Electron Microscopy, he completed a Master's degree in Physiology at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1975. Then he moved to Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where he worked as an Electron Microscopy Associate until 1978. At Mount Sinai Medical School in New York City he worked in Pulmonary Medicine, but was later selected to study for the PhD at Clemson University in Animal Physiology, studying Reproductive Biology from 1980-1983. He did 3 years Postdoctoral training in Reproductive and Endocrine Toxicology at the US Environmental Protection Agency, in Research Triangle Park, NC. In 1986 he began his long career as a Professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, were he also served as the University Director of Center for Microscopic Imaging from 1995-2003; Director and PI of the NIEHS Training Grant in Environmental Toxicology from 1998-2002. Currently, as Professor Emeritus he teaches Cell and Tissue Biology at the Medical School and is active in several research collaborations on the effects of gene disruption in spermatogenesis and efferent ductule structure and function.

show listCourses Taught

Veterinary Histology

Medical Histology and Cell Biology

Basic Toxicology (the Reproductive Toxicology section)

Developmental Anatomy

Discovery in Environmental Toxicology

Morphology of Reproduction

Integrated Electron Microscopy

Toxicologic Pathology (the Male Reproductive Toxicology section)

Interdisciplinary Toxicology Seminar

General Animal Physiology

show listSelected Publications

Chen C, Ouyang W, Grigura V, Zhou Q, Carnes K, Lim H, Zhao GQ, Arber S, Kurpios N, Murphy TL, Cheng AM, Hassell JA, Chandrashekar V, Hofmann MC, Hess RA & Murphy KM. (2005) ERM is required for transcriptional control of the spermatogonial stem cell niche. Nature 436, 1030-1034.

Hess RA, Cooke PS, Hofmann MC & Murphy KM. (2006) Mechanistic insights into the regulation of the spermatogonial stem cell niche. Cell Cycle 5, 1164-1170.

Hess RA & de Franca LR. (2008) Spermatogenesis and cycle of the seminiferous epithelium. Adv Exp Med Biol 636, 1-15.

Hess RA & Vogl AW (2015) Sertoli cell anatomy and cytoskeleton. In: Sertoli Cell Biology (ed M Griswold), pp. 1-55. Elsevier Academic Press, Oxford.

Hess RA, Fernandes SA, Gomes GR, Oliveira CA, Lazari MF & Porto CS. (2011) Estrogen and its receptors in efferent ductules and epididymis. J Androl 32, 600-613.

Hess RA. (2014) Disruption of estrogen receptor signaling and similar pathways in the efferent ductules and initial segments of the epididymis. Spermatogenesis 4, e979103.

Danielian PS, Hess RA & Lees JA. (2015) E2f4 and E2f5 are essential for the development of the male reproductive system. Cell Cycle.

show listSelected Service Activities

Scientific Society Offices Held:

1979-1980    Treasurer, Central-States Electron Microscopy Society

1995-1998    Secretary, American Society of Andrology

2011-2014    Treasurer, American Society of Andrology

2014-2017    Treasurer, American Society of Andrology

Editorial Boards of Scientific Journals:

Domestic Animal Endocrinology 1996-1999; Journal of Andrology  1997-2003; 2007-Present; Biology of Reproduction 2004-2008; Tissue and Cell 1996-Present; Reproductive Biology & Endocrinology 2003-Present; Animal Reproduction 2004-Present.

Grant Review Panels:

NIH Special Study Section: Contraception (1990); USDA, Animal Reproductive Efficiency Panel (1997); USDA, Animal Reproductive Efficiency Panel (1998); USDA, Animal Reproductive Efficiency, External Panel (2001, 2002); NIH External Reviewer, Toxicology Study Section (1999); NIH Special Study Section: Toxicology (1999); NIEHS Study Section: Toxicology (1999, 2003, 2004); CONRAD Program for Contraceptive Research (2001); American Association for the Advancement of Science, Research Competitiveness Program (2011)

American Society of Andrology Committees:

Publications Committee (2000-present); Education Policy Committee (1993-1994; Chair); Minority Affairs (1997); Archives Committee (2000-present; Chair 2000-present); Awards Committee (~1996-1998; 2005-2007); Nominations Committee (2002-2003); Trainee Affairs Committee (2003-2005; Chair); Executive Council (2005-2008); Journal Oversight Committee (2012- present; Chair, 2014-); Andrology America website (2013-; webmaster)

Public Service:

Harlan E. Moore Heart Research Foundation Research Vice-President (2002-2008)

Board of Directors of Pet HealthCare International (2003-2004)

President of the Champaign Lions Club (2009-2010)

Invited International Lectures:

  • Invited speaker at the United Nations University Symposium on Environment and Human Health, held at the University of Ulm, Federal Republic of Germany, March 4-8, 1990.
  • "Histopathological Evaluation of the Testis." Invited course, Pfizer, Inc., Centre de Recherche, Department of Pathology, Amboise, France, June 18-21, 1996.
  • Invited lecture at the Institute for Reproductive Biology, Prince Henry's Institute of Medical Research, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton, Victoria, Australia. June 26, 1996.
  • Invited poster presentation, “The adult male estrogen receptor knock-out mouse has abnormal efferent ductules of the testis,” at the Philippe Laudat Conferences sponsored by INSERM. November 10-14, 1996, Aix-le-Bains, France.
  • Invited seminar, “The role of estrogen in the male reproductive tract.” Institut für Reproduktionsmedizin, Westfälische Wilhems-Universität Münster, Germany. November 16, 1996.
  • Invited seminar, “Factors regulating testis size” Institut für Reproduktionsmedizin, Westfälische Wilhems-Universität Münster, Germany. November 15, 1996.
  • Invited seminar, “Use of the estrogen receptor knock-out transgenic mouse to study male reproduction” Universite de Rennes, Campus de Beaullou, Rennes, France. November 18, 1996.
  • Invited speaker, The Boden Conference on "The epididymis: cellular and molecular aspects,” supported by the Australian Academy of Science, February 1998, in Robertson, NSW, Australia.“ Effects of environmental toxicants on the efferent ducts, epididymis and fertility.”
  • Invited speaker, McGill University, Departments of Pharmacology & Therapeutics and Anatomy and Cell Biology, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, June 16, 1998.
  • Invited speaker, University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, July 15-23, 1998.
  • Seminar, Dept of Biological Sciences, University of Newcastle, Australia, Nov. 27, 1998.
  • Plenary Lecture, International Workshop, Estrogens and Male Reproduction, Crotone, Italy, Sept. 23-24, 1999.
  • Invited speaker, Estrogens and Male Reproduction, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Oct 12, 1999.
  • Symposium Lecture, Estrogens and Male Reproduction , Brazilian Society for Cell Biology, Oct. 13-15, 1999.
  • Invited speaker, Histopathological evaluation of the testis, The National Institute of Nutrition, Mexico City, Mexico. November 15, 1999.
  • Invited speaker, Estrogens and Male Reproduction, The National Institute of Perinatology, Mexico City, Mexico. November 16, 1999.
  • Invited speaker, Symposium on Estrogen and male reproduction. 1st European Congress of Andrology, March 24-27, 2000. L'Aquila, Italy.
  • Invited speaker, Main lecture: Estrogen regulation of the male reproductive system. Congresso Integração da Morfologia Luso-Brasileira, held in Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil, on August 27-31, 2000.
  • Symposium lecture, International Center for Biotechnology and Eurosterone Symposium on Nuclear Receptors in Health and Disease, Huddinge, Sweden, Sept. 24-27, 2000.
  • Invited lecture, Estrogen and male reproduction, Centre for Reproductive Biology in Uppsala, Sweden, Sept. 29, 2000.
  • Invited Lecture, Women in Nephrology Symposium, “Estrogen as a Modulator of Kidney and Urogenital Function,” American Society of Nephrology, "Lessons from the estrogen receptor knockout mouse," Toronto, Canada, October 13, 2000.
  • Invited speaker, The Boden Research Conference 2000 on "Estrogens and Male Health,” Sponsored by the Australian academy of Science, the Australian Society of Reproductive Biology and Endocrine Society of Australia, November 2-3, 2000, in Sydney, NSW, Australia.
  • Invited speaker. “Potential role of estrogens in male contraception.” Cooperative research Centre for the Biological Control of Pest Animals. Canberra, Australia. November 7, 2000.
  • Invited Speaker. “Estrogen and the male.” Monash Institute of Reproduction and Development, Prince Henry's Institute of Medical Research Melbourne, Victoria 3168 Australia. November 9, 2000.
  • Invited Symposium Lecture, “Estrogen and male reproductive function.” Society for Gynecologic Investigation, Toronto, Canada, March 16, 2001.
  • Invited lecture, Workshop on Genomic vs. Non-Genomic Steroid Actions: Encountered or Unified Views. Centre for International Meetings on Biology, Juan March Institute for Study and Research, Madrid, Spain, 17-19 December, 2001.
  • Invited lecture. “Estrogen regulates male fertility through ion transport mechanisms.” Dept. of Biochemistry, Università degli Studi di Bari, Bari, Italy. February 16-20, 2002.
  • Invited Speaker, “Estrogens and Efferent Ducts,” International Congress on Hormonal Steroids and Hormones and Cancer, Fukuoka City, Japan, October 21-25, 2002.
  • Invited Speaker, “Estrogen and male reproduction: source, target, function and potential effects of environmental estrogens,” University of Yokohama, Japan, October 28, 2002.
  • Invited Speaker, "Estrogen importance in the male: from a curiosity to absolute necessity". Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co, Japan, October 29, 2002.
  • Invited Speaker, “Estrogen importance in the male: from a curiosity to absolute necessity,” Mini-symposium at the Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. April 11, 2003.
  • Invited Speaker, “Estrogen importance in the male,” International Congress on Biology of Reproduction 2003, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil, April 12-15.
  • Invited Symposium Keynote Speaker, “Epididymal Toxicology,” 1st European Congress of Toxicological Pathology, Hamburg, Germany, September 24-27, 2003.
  • Invited Symposium Keynote Speaker, “Estrogen and male fertility,” 1st European Congress of Toxicological Pathology, Hamburg, Germany, September 24-27, 2003.
  • Invited Speaker, “Estrogen importance in the male: from a curiosity to absolute necessity,” Department of Endocrinology and Cell Biology, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands, September 29, 2003.
  • Invited Speaker, “Male Fertility: Role of Oestrogens in Efferent Ductules and Epididymal Function.” AstraZeneca R&D, Alderley Park, Safety Assessment, Cheshire, England. March 18, 2005.
  • Invited Lecture, "Comparative biology of efferent ductules in the male reproductive tract." Klinik für Geburtshilfe, Gynäkologie und Andrologie, University of Giessen, Germany. April 25, 2005.
  • Invited Lecture, "Estrogens in the male: source, target and function in the testis and epididymis.” Graduate seminar cell-cell interactions in reproduction, Medical College, University of Giessen, Germany. April 26, 2005.
  • Invited Lecture, "Histopathological evaluation of the testis.” Graduate seminar in Molecular Veterinary medicine, University of Giessen, Germany. April 27, 2005.
  • Invited Lecture, "The transcription factor ERM (ETV5) is Sertoli cell specific in the testis for spermatogonial stem cell self-renewal.” College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Giessen, Germany. April 28, 2005.
  • Invited Lecture, “Estrogens/Xenoestrogens and their impact on the male reproductive system.” University Campus Zurich-Irchel, Winterthurerstr, Switzerland. June 30, 2005.
  • Invited Lecture, “Estrogens/Xenoestrogens and their impact on the male reproductive system.” University of Lausanne, Dorigny, Unité CIG Sciences, Bâtiment de Biologie, Switzerland. July 1, 2005.
  • Invited Lecture, “Estrogens and the male reproductive tract.” 1st International Symposium on Animal Biology of Reproduction: From Sex Differentiation to Reproductive Biotechnology. Belo Horizonte, Brazil. November 15-18, 2006.
  • Invited Lecture, “Estrogen and its Receptors in Efferent Ductules and Epididymis,” Fifth International Conference on the Epididymis, Águas de São Pedro, São Paulo, Brazil, on October 25-28, 2010.
  • Invited lecture, "Morphology shines a bright light on mechanisms of testicular toxicity: a tribute to Lonnie Russell,” IV International Symposium on Animal Biology of Reproduction, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil, Oct 17-20, 2012.
  • Invited Lecture, "Abnormalities and toxicity in the head of the epididymis: effects on testis and epididymal sperm,” Brazilian Congress of Animal Reproduction, Uberlândia, Minas Gerais State, Brazil, June 05 - 07, 2013.
  • Invited Lecture, "Small tubules, surprising discoveries: from efferent ductules in the turkey to the discovery that estrogen receptor alpha is essential for fertility in the male,” The V International Symposium on Animal Biology of Reproduction (ISABR 2014), Campinas, SP, Brazil, October 8-11, 2014. This meeting was dedicated to Dr. Rex Hess in tribute to his lifetime scientific contributions.