Catherine W. Ernst

Catherine W. Ernst

Professor, Molecular Genetics; Director, Genetics Graduate Program
Telephone: (517) 432-1941
Work Location / Address: 1205H Anthony Hall
Employed by / Works For: Department of Animal Science

Catherine Ernst and Nancy Raney Ernst lab 2016 ''


  • BS, The Ohio State University
  • MS, Iowa State University
  • PhD, The Ohio State University
  • Postdoctoral Research, USDA-ARS US Meat Animal Research Center


55% Research, 25% Administration, 20% Teaching

USDA National Animal Genome Research Program, Pig Genome Co-Coordinator

Section Editor, Journal of Animal Science

Director, MSU Genetics Graduate Program


Laboratory: Animal Molecular Genetics Laboratory (website:

The Animal Molecular Genetics Laboratory focuses on identification and evaluation of genes and genetic markers associated with genetic improvement of production traits in pigs and other meat animal species. Much of the lab’s research is at the interface of structural and functional genomics, including a genetical genomics project to integrate genetic marker and gene expression data to identify genes controlling skeletal muscle and fat deposition, and their relationship to growth, carcass composition and meat quality in pigs. This effort applies both RNAseq and miRNAseq approaches in order to reveal gene regulatory networks and pathways. The lab also uses functional genomics approaches including transcriptome sequencing to study pig skeletal muscle development, and stress response in pigs. Recent efforts also include discovery of RNA editing sites in the transcriptomes of various pig tissues.

  • ANS 314 (Genetic Improvement of Farm Animals)
  • HRT/ANS/BE/CSS 461 (Seminar in Plant, Animal and Microbial Biotechnology)
  • GEN 840 (Genetics Writing Skills)


Visit ResearchGate for a list of publications.


Visit MSU Scholars for Project (grant) information.