The Kauffman Lab at U.C. San Diego uses a variety of molecular, cellular, physiological and neuroanatomical techniques to study how the brain and hormones interact to control reproduction in mammals. More specifically, we assess how neural circuits (such as those utilizing kisspeptin, NKB, dynorphin, or RFRP-3) stimulate or inhibit Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons, thereby regulating the neuroendocrine reproductive axis. Our studies use rodent models to examine the regulation of fertility in adulthood as well as the control of the reproductive axis in development, including puberty and critical periods of sexual differentiation. Our goal is to better understand the hormonal and neural (brain) mechanisms underlying reproduction in order to improve fertility treatments in humans, elucidate novel contraceptive methods, and enhance treatment of pubertal and developmental disorders.
***Click on the left-hand links to learn more about our lab members, research interests, and recent publications.