Raj Duggavathi (on sabbatic until January 2024)

Associate Professor - Reproductive Physiology; Departmental Chair

T: 514-398-7803  |  Lab: 514-398-7596 (MS1-110)  | raj.duggavathi [at] mcgill.ca (Email) |  Macdonald-Stewart Building, MS1-083  |  Lab website


PhD (University of Saskatchewan)
BVSc, MVSc (University of Agri. Sci., Bangalore)

Short Bio

Raj Duggavathi obtained his BVSc (1997) and MVSc (1999) degrees from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, and PhD in reproductive physiology (2004) from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon. Following a postdoctoral tenure at the Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (IGBMC), Strasbourg, he joined the Department of Animal Science in 2008. He has been serving as the Department Chair since 2018. His research program investigates the regulation of the ovarian functions and female fertility using bovine and mouse models. He teaches Endocrinology, Advanced Reproduction, and Swine and Poultry Production.

Research Interests

Duggavathi’s research focuses on mechanisms of regulation of female fertility with emphasis on ovarian function. His group’s current research involves two modules. In module 1, they use bovine model to investigate metabolic regulation of ovarian function in dairy cows. In the last five years his group has discovered that metabolic indicators differ significantly between lactating dairy cows and non-lactating counterparts. Their current studies investigate the relationship between metabolic stress and ovarian functions in lactating cows. In module 2, they use genome edited and pharmacologically manipulated mouse models to investigate signaling pathways governing ovulation and fertility. In the last five years his group has discovered novel transcription factors involved in the ERK1/2 intracellular signaling pathways as well as important molecules involved in ovulation including Nr5a2, mTOR (both granulosa-specific knockout models) and Fabp6 (whole-body knockout model). Their current studies focus on mechanisms of granulosa cell gene expression and effects of cannabinoids on ovarian functions. For their studies, they employ both genomic and targeted gene approaches, including next-generation sequencing, chromatin immunoprecipitation, immunoblotting, quantitative-PCR in our studies. Their research will continue to advance the understanding of molecular mechanisms underpinning normal ovarian functions, including ovulation and steroid hormone production, leading to normal female fertility.

Current Research

  • Mechanisms of ketosis effects on ovarian functions
  • Development of predictive tools for sustainable dairy production
  • Role of the cannabinoid system in ovarian functions
  • Catalytic independent ERK1/2 regulation of granulosa cell gene expression during ovulation
  • Region specific differential gene expression in the ovulating follicle

Research Support

NSERC - Discovery

Research Trainees

Ejimedo Madogwe, Postdoctoral Fellow, “ERK1/2 regulation of granulosa cell gene expression”
Teshome Alemu, PhD Candidate, “Effect of ketosis on ovarian function of Holstein dairy cows”
Jasmine Randhawa, MSc Student, “The role of cannabinoid system in the mouse ovary”
Baneet Kour, MSc Student, “Effect of growth on fertility of Holstein cows”
Tianyi Yang, MSc Student, “Evaluating the nutritive value of non-genetically modified low-lignin alfalfa at differential developmental stages”


ANSC 424 Metabolic Endocrinology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

ANSC 458 Swine and Poultry Production 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

ANSC 611D1 Advanced Reproductive Biology 1.5 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

ANSC 611D2 Advanced Reproductive Biology 1.5 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Position Availability

We are always open for new PhD and post-doctoral trainees. Send your CV along with a statement of research interest to discuss funding possibilities.


View a list of current publications.

Select Publications

Madogwe E, Schuermann Y, Siddappa S, Bordignon V, Roux PP and Duggavathi R. Sustained ERK1/2 signaling is necessary for follicular rupture during ovulation in mice. Reproduction 2021 161:183-193.

Schuermann Y, Welsford GE, Nitschmann E, Wykes L, Duggavathi R. Association between pre-breeding metabolic profiles and reproductive performance in heifers and lactating dairy cows. Theriogenology. 2019 131:79-88

Schuermann Y, Rovani MT, Gasperin B, Ferreira R, Ferst J, Madogwe E, Gonçalves PB, Bordignon V and Duggavathi R. ERK1/2-dependent gene expression in the bovine ovulating follicle. Scientific Reports 2018 8:16170

Siddappa D, Beaulieu É, Gévry N, Roux PP, Bordignon V, Duggavathi R. Effect of the transient pharmacological inhibition of Mapk3/1 pathway on ovulation in mice. PLoS One. 2015 10(3):e0119387.

Duggavathi R, Siddappa D, Schuermann Y, Pansera M, Menard IJ, Praslickova D, Agellon LB. The fatty acid binding protein 6 gene (Fabp6) is expressed in murine granulosa cells and is involved in ovulatory response to superstimulation. Journal of Reproduction and Devevelopment. 2015 61(3):237-40.

Sanchez R, Schuermann Y, Agellon LB, Baldassarre H, Bordignon V, Murphy BD, Gevry N, Praslickova D and Duggavathi R. Differential abundance of IGF1, bile acids, and the genes involved in their signaling in the dominant follicle microenvironment of lactating cows and nulliparous heifers. Theriogenology 2014 81:771-9.

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