Gerald Kidder

Genetics & Development Dr. Gerald Kidder


Scientist, Division of Genetics & Development, Children’s Health Research Institute
Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, Western University
Adjunct Professor, Department of Physiology & Pharmacology, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University

How my research helps children

My research helps children in two ways.  First, my team studies mice that have mutations in the same genes that cause certain birth defects in human babies.  By studying the effects of these mutations in mice, we can get a better understanding of how the mutations disrupt normal fetal development and what can be done to minimize their effects.  Second, our research in the development of egg cells, also using mice, has provided new insight into the factors that control egg cell development and the importance of those factors for the health of embryos.  The results of this research are being applied to ensuring the health of babies conceived through in vitro fertilization.


Current Research & Research Training Activities

  1. Structural Determinants of Connexin Specificity: this research, funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), relies on genetically modified mice to explore how structurally different connexins (gap junction-forming proteins) contribute to the development of the male reproductive organs.  The aim is to improve our understanding of how the unique properties of a particular connexin determine its functions in development.
  2. Roles of Gap Junctional Coupling in Oogenesis: funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), this research also uses genetically modified mice.  It is aimed at elucidating the roles that connexins play in the growth of ovarian follicles and the production of oocytes that will support the development of healthy babies.  We are also studying the paracrine signaling pathways that may interact with gap junctional intercellular communication in these processes.  Insights from this mouse work are being used to improve the understanding and treatment of human female infertility.
  3. Training Program in Reproduction, Early Development, and the Impact on Health (REDIH): this Strategic Training Program in Health Research, funded by CIHR, employs the collective expertise of 30 researchers in developmental biology and reproductive medicine from Western, McMaster, McGill, Laval, the University of Ottawa, and the University of Montreal.  It provides stipend support for clinical residents, graduate students, and postdoctoral research fellows to conduct basic research in developmental biology related to reproductive medicine.

Research Team

My research is conducted with the expert skills of a research technician and a postdoctoral research fellow.  Past trainees (graduate students and postdocs) have gone on to become doctors, dentists, college or university professors, university administrators, research institute directors, biotech company executives, research technicians, business professionals, high school teachers, and a variety of other types of professionals.

Future Research Plans

Our goal continues to be to work with clinics and private companies to translate our discoveries into practical applications that will ensure the health of children.

Awards & Grants

Awards & Grants

Distinguished University Professorship, Western University (2010)

Turner Society Award for Excellence, Hiram College, USA (2006)

Funding support for “Training Program in Reproduction, Early Development, and the Impact on Health” – Awarded by CIHR

Funding support for “Roles of Gap Junctional Coupling in Oogenesis” – Awarded by CIHR

Funding support for “Structural Determinants of Connexin Specificity” – Awarded by NSERC

Recent Publications


Decidual angiogenesis and placental orientation are altered in mice heterozygous for a dominant loss-of-function Gja1 (connexin43) mutation
Winterhager E, Gellhaus A, Blois SM, Hill LA, Barr KJ, Kidder GM 
Biol Reprod. 2013; 89:111, 1–12

The REDIH experience: an emerging design to develop an effective training program for graduate students in reproductive science
MacDonald CJ, Archibald D, Baltz JM, Kidder GM
Adv Med Edu Prac. 2013; 4:201-216

The canonical WNT2 pathway and FSH interact to regulate gap junction assembly in mouse granulosa cells
Wang H-X, Gillio-Meina C, Chen S, Gong X-Q, Li TY, Bai D, Kidder GM
Biol Reprod. 2013; 89:39, 1-7

Hyperplasia of pancreatic beta cells and improved glucose tolerance in mice deficient in the FXYD2 subunit of Na,K-ATPase
Arystarkhova E, Liu YB, Salazar C, Stanojevic V, Clifford RJ, Kaplan JH, Kidder GM, Sweadner KJ
J Biol Chem. 2013; 288:7077-7085

Connexins and steroidogenesis in mouse Leydig cells
Li D, Sekhon P, Barr KJ, Marquez-Rosado L, Lampe PD, Kidder GM
J Physiol Pharmacol. 2013; 91:157-164

Compromized fertility disrupts Peg1 but not Snrpn and Peg3 imprinted methylation acquisition in mouse oocytes
Denomme MM, White CR, Gillio Meina C, MacDonald WA, Deroo BJ, Kidder GM, Mann MRW
Front Genet. 2012; 3:article 129, 1-11

Phosphorylation of serine residues in the C-terminal cytoplasmic tail of connexin43 regulates proliferation of ovarian granulosa cells
Dyce PW, Norris RP, Lampe PD, Kidder GM
J Membr Biol. 2012; 245:291-301

Training program in reproduction, early development, and the impact on health (REDIH): Evaluation of year 1
MacDonald CJ, Archibald D, Batlz JM, Kidder GM, Clarke H
J Studies Education. 2012; 2:1-28

Male reproductive system defects and subfertility in a mutant mouse model of oculodentodigital dysplasia
Gregory M, Kahiri CN, Barr JK, Smith CE, Hermo L, Cyr DG, Kidder GM
Int J Androl. 2011; 34: e630-e641

In vitro and in vivo germ line potential of stem cells derived from newborn mouse skin
Dyce PW, Liu J, Tayade C, Kidder GM, Betts DH, Li J
PLoS ONE. 2011; 6:e20339

WNT2 regulates DNA synthesis in mouse granulosa cells through beta-catenin
Wang HX, Li TY, Kidder GM
Biol Reprod. 2010; 82:865-75

Reduction of electrical coupling between microvascular endothelial cells by NO depends on connexin37
McKinnon RL, Bolon ML, Wang HX, Swarbreck S, Kidder GM, Simon AM, Tyml K
Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2009; 297:H93-H101

Oogenesis defects in a mutant mouse model of oculodentodigital dysplasia
Tong D, Colley D, Thoo R, Li TY, Plante I, Laird DW, Bai D, Kidder GM
Dis Model Mech. 2009; 2:157-67

A dominant loss-of-function GJA1 (Cx43) mutant impairs parturition in the mouse
Tong D, Lu X, Wang HX, Plante I, Lui E, Laird DW, Bai D, Kidder GM
Biol Reprod. 2009; 80:1099-106

Identification of WNT/beta-CATENIN signaling pathway components in human cumulus cells
Wang HX, Tekpetey FR, Kidder GM
Mol Hum Reprod. 2009; 15:11-7

Additional publications



Phone: (519) 685-8500, x55427
Fax: (519) 685-8186
Email: gerald [dot] kidder [at] schulich [dot] uwo [dot] ca

(Please note: CHRI is not responsible for the content of any external sites - links will open in new window)