• Dr. Pepe earned his undergraduate degree (BA) in biology from Providence College in Providence, RI, a master's degree (MS) in biology from Northeastern University in Boston, MA and a PhD in biochemistry and physiology from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS in 1970. After completing two-years of postdoctoral training in reproductive physiology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, Dr. Pepe spent 6 years as a Senior Staff Fellow at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD before joining the faculty of the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA in 1978 where he has served (1985-present) and is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Physiological Sciences. Dr. Pepe is recognized for his research on the role of estrogen in pregnancy on placental-fetal development and programming fetal organ systems important for metabolic and reproductive processes/function in offspring after birth. Working with his colleague Eugene Albrecht, PhD at the University of Maryland, Dr. Pepe's research has earned virtually continuous (1980-present) support from the National Institutes of Health. He has published over 170 original manuscripts, book chapters and reviews and trained numerous graduate and postdoctoral students throughout his career. Dr. Pepe was recipient of a NASA Predoctoral Fellowship and recipient at EVMS of the Dean's Awards for Excellence in Teaching, Excellence in Research and EVMS Outstanding Faculty. Dr. Pepe has served on numerous research review panels of the National Institutes of Health, as a member of research advisory boards, a reviewer for several professional journals and an invited speaker at national and international meetings as well as a guest lecturer and visiting professor at several Universities. In 2004, Dr. Pepe was appointed and served as Provost and Dean of the Eastern Virginia Medical School (2005-2012).

selected publications

research overview

  • The high incidence of human neonatal morbidity and mortality associated with low birth weight and prematurity as well as impact of the ever increasing exposure of humans to environmental endocrine disruptors indicates need for more intensive study of the mechanisms underlying the development of the primate placenta and fetus. The long-term objective of this laboratory is to improve knowledge in this area and translate findings to the human by building on our previous and ongoing in vivo and in vitro studies in the nonhuman primate demonstrating the important role of estrogen in controlling placental-fetal communication by regulating [1] placental angiogenesis and structural maturation, [2] remodeling of maternal uterine spiral arteries by extravillous trophoblast critical to placental perfusion, [3] maturation of fetal-organ systems including the adrenal gland and gonads as well as tissues controlling metabolic function, and establishing the impact of the intrauterine programming actions of estrogen on physiological processes (e.g. insulin sensitivity, vascular and reproductive function) in adulthood.

preferred title

  • Professor and Chair

full name

  • Gerald J. Pepe, PhD


Recent publications and grants in Researchers@EVMS