Director: John S. Davis, PhD
The fertility of humans and domestic livestock is steadily decreasing. Many women’s health issues are linked to changes in reproductive hormones. Our studies to understand the basic physiological processes that regulate the differentiation of ovarian cells and the production of steroid hormones will allow new strategies to improve fertility, prevent early pregnancy losses, and develop more effective contraceptives. We are also examining the possibility that elevated blood levels of highly glycosylated pituitary hormones may contribute to osteoporosis during menopause. Additionally, our studies to understand the mechanisms that control ovarian angiogenesis and ovarian cancer may lead to the development of new therapies for the treatment of this deadly disease.
Our research studies the physiological events and molecular mechanisms that regulate the cyclical function of the ovary and its pathologies, such as steroid synthesis and ovarian cancer. These processes are controlled by the actions of various hormones and growth factors that initiate a complex pattern of intracellular signaling events. Unraveling these signaling events is our passion and will provide important clues for therapeutic interventions to improve women’s health.