ALIGNED RESEARCH FOCUS
As a scientist in the Scientific Protocol Implementation Unit I provide scientific and logistical support in all biomedical research areas. Specific personal research interests include – neuroendocrinology, metabolism, and neuroscience.
Our reproductive and metabolic health depends heavily on interactions that we have with our environment. My research has focused on how environmental conditions impair fertility and promote metabolic dysfunction; e.g., obesity and diabetes. In addition, I focus on how disruption of metabolic tissue function relates to reproductive dysfunction whereas promotion of metabolic health leads to improved fertility.
I study the development and function of specialized neurons (Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) and kisspeptin) within the hypothalamus of the brain that control reproductive function. Our research has uncovered a unique molecular mechanism responsible for the development and maintenance of hypothalamic neuron activity. I now study how this mechanism is affected by environmental conditions such as exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (e.g., Bisphenol A) or physical conditions (e.g., obesity, type 2 diabetes, and Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder). The ultimate goal is to better understand these effects so we can develop effective treatments for infertility.
I also study the development and activity of adipose (fat) tissue. Adipose is increasingly considered an endocrine tissue that secretes factors that communicate with the neuroendocrine hypothalamus. My research focuses on how adipose tissue adapts to environmental conditions and how fat signals to the brain under normal and pathological conditions.