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Animal Science Faculty

Peter Sutovsky

Peter Sutovsky


Reproductive Physiology

S141 Animal Science Research Center
Division Of Animal Sciences
Columbia, MO 65211

Peter Sutovsky, PhD, Dr.h.c., is a Professor of Animal Science in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, University of Missouri, also appointed as Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health at the School of Medicine, University of Missouri Health System. Since the early 90’s, Peter has studied mammalian gametogenesis, fertilization, and pre-implantation embryonic development with special emphasis on the gamete and zygotic ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). He was the first to describe the role of UPS in the regulation of mitochondrial inheritance and introduced a novel concept of extracellular UPS, which has been validated in reproduction and outside the reproductive biology field. In particular, Peter demonstrated the importance of sperm borne proteasomes for mammalian fertilization and the role of UPS in epididymal sperm quality control, a mechanism relevant to male fertility evaluation in livestock, and the diagnosis and treatment of human male fertility. Peter’s work on the biogenesis and post-fertilization processing of sperm head perinuclear theca, a long-standing collaboration with Dr. Richard Oko at Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, influenced the optimization and safeguarding of assisted reproductive technologies/therapies such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Other notable collaborations include the development of transgenic pig model for the study of 26S proteasome (Drs. Randall Prather and Kevin Wells, MU ANSCI) and work on a rodent model of human endometriosis (Dr. Kathy Timms, MU OBGYN). Recently, the Sutovsky laboratory has also been focusing on biomarker-based flow cytometric semen analysis and semen nanopurification aimed at improving conception rates in livestock artificial insemination (AI).

As of 2015, Peter published 162 peer reviewed articles and chapters, of which 147 were cited 4,600 times in SCOPUS (h index =36), and featured on 50 journal, book, and trade publication covers. He edited two books and three journal special issues. He holds 13 US and foreign patents, reflecting his involvement in technology development and commercialization. Among many other awards, he has been recognized as the inaugural recipient of the USDA-NRI Discovery Award, Big 12 Rising Star Award, and the University of Missouri Distinguished Researcher Award and the University of Missouri Faculty Entrepreneur of The Year Award. Reflecting his international efforts, Peter received an Honorary doctoral degree, Doctor Honoris Causa from the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague and an Honorary Professorship from the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Peru, the oldest University in all the Americas. His work on fertilization and infertility has been funded by USDA, NIH, NIJ, Missouri Life Sciences Trust Fund and various other public and private entities. He is a frequent plenary speaker in USA and around the world, frequent NIH panel member and a senior editor in several leading journals in his field. The Sutovsky laboratory maintains active collaborations with scientists and industry partners in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, France, India, Japan, Peru, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, United Kingdom and USA.

News Releases

November 2015; Honored by the D.H. Barron Reproductive and Perinatal Biology Research Program, Peter delivers the Warnick Lecture at the University of Florida. Read About

October 2015; Peter receives University of Missouri Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity. Read About

April 2015; Peter is named a Founding Member of Mizzou Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors. Read About

April 2015; Peter receives honorary doctoral degree from the Czech University of Lifesciences in Prague. Read About

2014: Joint study of sperm PAWP protein with the lab of Dr. Richard Oko at Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, gets praise from FASEB Journal Editor-in-Chief Gerald Weissmann: "Reducing the number of IVF cycles for a couple would save them money and disappointment. Equally important, this research helps us better understand the events that occur when an egg is first fertilized as well as what we can do to influence those events."

2013: Following his educational and collaborative efforts with reproductive biologists in Peru, Peter is named Honorary Professor of the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Peru, the oldest University in all the Americas, established in 1551.

2012: Better Bull Semen – in a syndicated news radio feature, the MU Cooperative Media Group interviews Peter on the progress of bull semen evaluation and nanopurification technology.

2011; Butterflies Up Close: A Researcher Finds Art in Science - MizzouWire shows images of fluorescent butterfly wings, a welcome distraction from the usual cell imaging research inspired by Peter’s hobby interest in entomology.

2010: The Future of Fertility is discussed in VOX Magazine, Columbia, MO, December 12, 2010.

2010: Faculty Entrepreneur of the Year award bestowed by University of Missouri System President Gary D. Forsee.

2010: Research uses “kiss of death” protein to improve fertilization techniques – syndicated story on male fertility testing based on measurement of sperm protein ubiquitin is distributed nationwide by University of Missouri Cooperative Media Group.

2009: Peter’s technology development and commercialization efforts, supported by grants from the Missouri Life Sciences Trust Fund and the National Institute of Justice, are profiled by Columbia Daily Tribune and by the new Inside Columbia’s CEO Magazine.

2009: Peter is presented the Distinguished Researcher Award by the Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, University of Missouri.

2008: Peter travels to his native Slovakia to receive a commemorative medal awarded by the citizens of his hometown Beckov on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of Beckov’s first written record.

2007: Research article published in collaboration with Dr. Richard Oko of the Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, is featured as the Paper of the Week in the prestigious Journal of Biological Chemistry and covered by press in USA and Canada.

2007: Peter is honored as a Big 12 Raising Star by the Kaufmann Foundation and the Big 12 Center for Economic Development, Innovation and Commercialization.

2006: An award honoring Best Biological Paper of 2005, published in Microscopy and Microanalysis is presented to Peter and his collaborators from Pfizer Inc., at the Microscopy & Microanalysis  Meeting 2006, Chicago, IL.

2006: Chicago Tribune talks with Peter about his selection as one of “Twenty Life Science Innovators You Should Know, Who Are Changing our World” while covering  BIO2006, Chicago, IL, a world biotechnology fair attended by 18,000 participants.

2005: Peter receives the Inaugural USDA NRI Discovery Award at a ceremony attended by US Senator Kit Bond, USDA-CREEES administrator Colien Hefferan, and USDA program leaders Mark Mirando and Chavonda Jacobs-Young.