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  1. Science & Research (NCTR)

Gwenn E. Merry
Leadership Role

Biologist — Division of Systems Biology

Gwenn Merry
Gwenn E. Merry
(870) 543-7391

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About  |  Publications


Gwenn Merry studied biology at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and she earned a Master of Science in Aquaculture & Fisheries with a focus on water quality from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. From 1994 to 2013, she worked at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Aquaculture and Fisheries Center of Excellence in fish health research and cooperative extension programs. In 2014, she joined the Division of Systems Biology at NCTR as a biologist. She has worked on a range of projects including:

  • Methods development for differentiation of neural precursor cells from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) to assess the effects of opioids and other compounds on early neural development.
  • Development and analysis of an obese mouse model for use in drug metabolism studies.
  • Evaluation of culture conditions for a testis organ culture system to detect potential male reproductive toxicants.
  • Incorporation and analysis of osteoblast and neural endpoints in the mouse embryonic stem cell test (mEST) for detection of developmental toxicants.

Research Interests

Before joining FDA, Gwenn dedicated 19 years researching fish disease diagnostics and treatment with an emphasis on warmwater fish viruses. She has studied immune responses to various pathogens and protective immunity after vaccination. Furthermore, she has tested and evaluated the immunogenicity, protective efficacy, and toxicity of a number of disease treatments. Gwenn currently uses her assay development and implementation experience to develop alternative models in developmental and reproductive toxicology in the Division of Systems Biology.

Gwenn’s current studies are focused on the development and application of alternative models that may be implemented to reduce, refine, or replace the use of animals in evaluating drug toxicity. These models focus on mouse embryonic stem cell cardiomyocyte, osteoblast, and neural development as well as hiPSC neural development. Gwenn serves as principal investigator for methods development projects and is a recognized expert in stem cell culture. Her current work includes the use of in vitro systems that model human neural development to evaluate risk factors associated with prenatal drug exposure.

Professional Societies/National and International Groups

South Central Chapter of the Society of Toxicology
2015, 2020

International Society for Stem Cell Research
2017, 2020

Zebrafish Husbandry Association
2015-2016, 2020

World Aquaculture Society



Selected Publications

Evaluation of Culture Time and Media in an In Vitro Testis Organ Culture System.
Nakamura N., Merry G.E., Inselman A.L., Sloper D.T., Del Valle P.L., Sato T., Ogawa T., and Hansen D.K.
Birth Defects Res. 2017, 109(7): 465-474. doi: 10.1002/bdr2.1002. [Epub 2017 Mar 31].

Transcriptomics Analysis of Early Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation: Applications for Detection of Developmental Toxicity.
Chen X., Han T., Fisher J.E., Harrouk W., Tassinari M.S., Merry G.E., Sloper D., Fuscoe J.C., Hansen D.K., and Inselman A.L.
Reprod Toxicol. 2017, 69: 75-83. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2017.02.001. [Epub 2017 Feb 8.].

Developing Osteoblasts as an Endpoint for the Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Test.
Chen X., Hansen D.K., Merry G., DeJarnette C., Nolen G., Sloper D., Fisher J.E., Harrouk W., Tassinari M.S., and Inselman A.L.
Reprod Toxicol. 2015, 53:131-40. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2015.04.008. [Epub 2015 Apr 27].

Detection and Surveillance of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus using Real-Time RT-PCR. I. Initial Comparison of Four Protocols.
Warg J.V., Clement T., Cornwell E.R., Cruz A., Getchell R.G., Giray C., Goodwin A.E., Groocock G.H., Faisal M., Kim R., Merry G.E., Phelps N.B.D., Reising M.M., Standish I., Zhang Y., and Toohey-Kurth K.
Dis Aquat Organ. 2014, 111(1):1-13. doi: 10.3354/dao02753.

Detection and Surveillance of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus using Real-Time RT-PCR. II. Diagnostic Evaluation of Two Protocols.
Warg J.V., Clement T., Cornwell E.R., Cruz A., Getchell R.G., Giray C., Goodwin A.E., Groocock G.H., Faisal M., Kim R., Merry G.E., Phelps N.B.D., Reising M.M., Standish I., Zhang Y., and Toohey-Kurth K.
Dis Aquat Organ. 2014, 111(1):15-22. doi: 10.3354/dao02758.

Rapid Quantitative Detection of Aeromonas Hydrophila Strains Associated with Disease Outbreaks in Catfish Aquaculture.
Griffin M.J., Goodwin A.E., Merry G.E., Liles M.R., Williams M.A., Ware C., and Waldbieser G.C.
J Vet Diagn Invest. 2013, 25(4):473-81. doi: 10.1177/1040638713494210.

Persistence of Viral RNA in Fish Infected with VHSV-IVb at 15 ºC and then Moved to Warmer Temperatures After the Onset of Disease.
Goodwin A.E., Merry G.E., and Noyes A.D.
J Fish Dis. 2012, 35(7):523-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2761.2012.01374.x. [Epub 2012 May 14].

Mortality and Carrier Status of Bluegills Exposed to Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus Genotype IVb at Different Temperatures.
Goodwin A.E. and Merry G.E.
J Aquat Anim Health. 2011, 23(2):85-91.

Replication and Persistence of VHSV IVb in Freshwater Turtles.
Goodwin A.E. and Merry G.E.
Dis Aquat Organ. 2011, 94(3):173-7. doi: 10.3354/dao02328.

Detection and Prevalence of the Nonsyncytial American Grass Carp Reovirus Aquareovirus G by Quantitative Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction.
Goodwin A.E., Merry G.E., and Attoui H.
J Aquat Anim Health. 2010, 22(1):8-13. doi: 10.1577/H09-025.1.

Are All Koi Ulcer Cases Associated with Infection by Atypical Aeromonas salmonicida?:  PCR Assays of Koi Carp Skin Swabs Submitted to Hobbyists.
Goodwin A.E. and Merry, G.E.
J Aquat Anim Health. 2009, 21(2):98-103; ISSN: 0899-7659, 1548-8667. doi: 10.1577/H08-042.1.

Herpesviral Hematopoietic Necrosis Virus (CyHV-2) Infection: Case Studies from Commercial Goldfish Farms.
Goodwin A.E., Sadler J.E., Merry G.E., and Marecaux E.N.
J Fish Dis. 2009, 32(3):271-278; ISSN: 01407775, 13652761. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2761.2008.00988.x.

Complete Characterization of the American Grass Carp Reovirus Genome (genus Aquareovirus: family Reoviridae) Reveals an Evolutionary Link Between Aquareoviruses and Coltiviruses.
Jaafar F.M., Goodwin A.E., Belhouchett M., Merry G.E., Fang Q., Cantaloube J-F., Biagini P., De Micco P., Mertens P.P.C., and Attoui H.
Virology. 2008. 373(2):310-321. doi: 10.1016/jvirol.2007.12.006.

Effects of Paddlewheel Aeration on Water Quality in Crawfish Ponds.
Romaire R.P. and Merry, G.E.
Journal of Applied Aquaculture. 19(3): 61-75. doi: 10.1300/J028v19n03_04.

Detection of Herpesviral Hematopoietic Necrosis Disease Agent (Cyprinid herpesvirus 2) in Moribund and Healthy Goldfish Carassius auratus:  Validation of a Quantitative PCR Diagnostic Method.
Goodwin A.E., Merry G.E., and Sadler, J.
Dis Aquat Organ. 2006, 69(2-3):137-43.

Aggressive Biting Among Channel Catfish Ictalurus punctatus in Pool Studies
Lochmann S.E., Perschbacher P.W., Merry G.E., and Fijan N.
Prog Fish Cult. 1998 60(2):119-126. doi: 10.1577/1548-8640(1998)060<0119:ABACCI>2.0.CO;2.


Contact Information
Gwenn E. Merry
(870) 543-7391
Technology & Discipline
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