Catherine Ernst

Catherine Ernst

Department of Animal Science

Professor and Chairperson

Telephone: 517-432-1941

1290F Anthony Hall

Department of Animal Science

Director of Genetics and Genome Sciences Graduate Program, College of Natural Science

Area of Expertise:

Molecular Genetics


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

 Catherine Ernst and Nancy Raney Ernst lab 2016 ''


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

Director, MSU Genetics and Genome Sciences Graduate Program


Laboratory: Animal Molecular Genetics Laboratory

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 our 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 and assessment of DNA methylation patterns to study pig skeletal muscle development, and stress response in pigs. Additional projects include discovery and evaluation of RNA editing sites, and cataloging DNA methylation patterns for various pig tissues.


ANS 314 (Genetic Improvement of Domestic Animals)

ANS 885 (Animal Science Seminar)

GEN 840 (Genetics Writing Skills)


Visit ResearchGate for a list of publications.