Skip to main content


Susan M. Quirk   -   Professor

PhD from Cornell University  
Graduate fields:      Animal Science, Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Area(s) of interest:   physiology of the ovary and reproductive tract, molecular and cellular biology


  • Fundamentals of Endocrinology - ANSC/BIOAP 4270
  • Molecular and cellular approaches to reproductive physiology - ANSC 4050
  • Coordinator-Animal Science Undergraduate Honors Research Program and instructor of ANSC 4020 Seminar in Animal Sciences
  • Co-organizer BIOAP/ANSC 7570 Current concepts in reproductive biology

Professional Organizations: 

  • Society for the Study of Reproduction



Current Research:

Studies focused on:

  1. Role of a cell signaling pathway (the hedgehog pathway) in the ovary and reproductive tract
  2. Determining the mechanism of ovulation using multiphoton microscopy in vivo
  3. Factors influencing the health of bovine oocytes
  4. Interaction among pathways regulating cell proliferation and apoptosis in ovarian cells.

Selected Recent Publications:

Migone FF, Cowan RG, Williams RM, Zipfel WR, Quirk SM. 2013. Multiphoton microscopy as a tool to study ovarian vasculature in vivo.  IntraVital 2: 1-7.

Quirk SM, Cowan RG, Harman RM. 2012  Role of the cell cycle in regression of the corpus luteum.  Reproduction 145:161-175.

Ren Y, Cowan RG, Migone FF, Quirk SM. 2012. Overactivation of hedgehog signaling alters development of the ovarian vasculature in mice.  Biology of Reproduction 86(6):174;1-15.

Migone FF, Ren Y, Cowan RG, Harman RM, Nikitin AY, Quirk SM. 2011. Dominant activation of the hedgehog signaling pathway alters development of the female reproductive tract. Genesis 50:28-40.

Harman RM, Cowan RG, Ren Y, Quirk SM. 2011. Reduced signaling through the hedgehog pathway in the uterine stroma causes deferred implantation and embryonic loss. Reproduction 141: 665-674.

Ren Y, Cowan RG, Harman RM, Quirk SM. 2009. Dominant activation of the hedgehog signaling pathway in the ovary alters theca development and prevents ovulation. Mol Endocrinol [Rapid Electronic Publication Feb. 5, 2009 as doi:10.1210/me.2008-0391.

Russell, MC, Cowan, RG, Harman, RM, Walker, AL and Quirk, SM. 2007. The hedgehog signaling pathway in the mouse ovary. Biology of Reproduction 77:226-236.

Quirk, SM, Cowan, RG, Harman, RM. 2006. The susceptibility of granulosa cells to apoptosis is influenced by oestradiol and the cell cycle. Journal of Endocrinology 189:441-443.

Hu, C-L, Cowan, RG, Harman, RM, Quirk, SM. 2004. Cell cycle progression and activation of Akt kinase are required for IGF-mediated suppression of apoptosis in granulosa cells. Molecular Endocrinology 18: 326-338.

Quirk, SM, Cowan, RG, Harman, RM. 2004. Progesterone receptor and the cell cycle modulate apoptosis in granulosa cells. Endocrinology 145: 5033-5043.

Quirk, SM, Cowan, RG, Harman, RM, Hu, C-L, Porter, DA. 2004. Ovarian follicular growth and atresia: the relationship between cell proliferation and survival. J. Animal Science 82(E. Suppl.):E40-E52.