Stacia Sower

  • Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Director of the Center for Molecular and Comparative Endocrinology (CME)

Ph.D. Oregon State University 1981

Research Areas

Fish reproductive physiology, molecular neuroendocrinology

Research Emphasis

The research in my laboratory and with my collaborators and students emphasizes multidisciplinary approaches to studying the molecular and evolution of the neuroendocrine system in basal vertebrates, the agnathans. Modern agnathans consist of only two living groups of this ancient class of vertebrates that include lampreys and hagfish, anadromous and marine fish, respectively.

Lampreys and hagfish are an exciting group of fish to research because of their ancient lineage that raises interesting questions on the evolution of reproduction and reproductive physiology in vertebrates.

In addition, we are involved in marine biomedical research. Studying the lamprey genome is a basis for understanding genes that arose in the vertebrates and offers an innovative approach to therapeutic research.

My laboratory also focuses on fisheries endocrinology and applied fisheries in lampreys and hagfish. In addition, my laboratory has been involved in studies on endocrine disruptors in frogs and fish. These ongoing studies involve collaborators, graduate students, postdoctoral research associate(s), visiting scholars and undergraduates. These studies have or are currently supported by NSF, Sea Grant, Great Lakes Fisheries Commission and NIH. 

Sower, S.A., E. Balz, A. Aquilina-Beck and S.I. Kavanaugh. 2011. Seasonal changes of brain GnRH-I, -II, and –III during the final reproductive period in adult male and female sea lamprey. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 170:276-82.


Sower, S.A., E. Balz, A. Aquilina-Beck and S.I. Kavanaugh. 2011. Seasonal changes of brain GnRH-I, -II, and –III during the final reproductive period in adult male and female sea lamprey. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 170:276-82.

Kim, D.K., E.B. Cho, M.J. Moon, S. Park, J.I. Hwang, O. Kah, S.A. Sower, H. Vaudry and J.Y. Seong. 2011. Revisiting the evolution of gonadotropin-releasing hormones and their receptors in vertebrates: Secrets hidden in genomes. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 170:68-78.

Patiño R, Barton B, Maule A, Mesa M, Redding J, Rodnick K and Sower SA (2010) Profiles in Comparative Endocrinology: Carl B. Schreck Howard Bern Lecturer, Annual Meeting of Society of Integrative and Comparative Endocrinology, Seattle, January 5, 2010. Gen Comp Endocrinol. In Press. Epub ahead of print

Mesa, M. G., J. M. Bayer, M.B. Bryan and S.A. Sower. 2010. Annual sex steroid and other physiological profiles of Pacific lampreys (Lampetra tridentata). Comp. Bchm. Physiol.-Part A: Molecular and Integrative Physiology. 155:56-63.

Kosugi, T. and S.A. Sower. 2010. A role of Histidine151 in the lamprey gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor 1 (lGnRHR-1): Functional insight of diverse amino acid residues in the position of Tyr of the DRY motif in GnRHR from an ancestral type II receptor. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 166:498-503.

Freamat, M and S.A. Sower. 2010. Functional divergence of glycoprotein hormone receptors. Integr. and Comp. Biol. 50:110-123.

Holland, L.Z. and S.A. Sower. 2010. “Insights of Early Chordate Genomics: Endocrinology and Development in Amphioxus, Tunicates and Lampreys”: Introduction to the symposium. Integr. and Comp. Biol. 50:17-21.

Sower, S.A. and H. Kawauchi. 2010. Reproduction in Agnathan Fishes: Lampreys and Hagfishes. In Hormones and Reproduction of Vertebrates. Editors: D.O. Norris and K. H. Lopez. Academic Press. Vol 1, Chapt 10.

Uchida, K., S. Moriyama, H. Chiba, T. Shimotani, K. Honda, M. Miki, A. Takahashi, S.A. Sower and M. Nozaki. 2010. Evolutionary origin of a functional gonadotropin in the pituitary of the most primitive vertebrate, hagfish. Proc. Natl Acad Sci U.S.A. 07(36):15832-15837

Clemens, B.J., T. Binder, M. Docker, M.L. Moser and S.A. Sower. 2010. Similarities, Differences, and Unknowns in Biology and Management of Three Parasitic Lampreys of North America. Fisheries. 35:580-596.


University of New Hampshire
Department of Molecular, Cellular & Biomedical Sciences
316 Rudman Hall
46 College Road
Durham, NH 03824

Research Areas: 
Genetics and Reproduction
Marine Biology
Marine Molecular and Cellular Processes