The Center for Reproductive Science and MedicineIn the Department of Reproductive Medicine

Research Interests

A brief description of the Center Projects.  If you would like more information on our most current research, feel free to contact the individual Project Leaders.


Project I (Pamela L. Mellon, PL) will address the roles of FSH transcriptional and secretory control in the dysregulation of the neuroendocrine system in mouse models of PCOS and premature ovarian failure. The focus will be on the roles of androgen excess, genetics, epigenetics, and specific single nucleotide polymorphisms in the FSH╬▓ gene associated with PCOS.

Project II (Mark A. Lawson, PL), a new project, will chart novel territory in understanding the roles of fatty acids and excess androgens in regulating the hypothalamic GnRH pulse generator and GnRH sensitivity at the pituitary in PCOS. Using novel genetically modified mice, highly sensitive assays to measure LH pulses in vivo, mouse models of PCOS, perifusion cell culture models, high-fat diet, and lipid infusions, this Project investigates the roles of free fatty acids and androgens in dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis and their overall contribution to the PCOS phenotype.

Project III (R. Jeffrey Chang, PL) will delineate the role of androgens on follicle function implicated in anovulation in clinical studies in women with PCOS and address fundamental mechanisms underlying dys-folliculogenesis in PCOS using a mouse model overexpressing Cyp17. All three projects include teams of very experienced investigators and integrate basic and translational studies to address major aspects of the mechanisms of PCOS. The Projects are highly interactive and synergistic, creating a coherent, mechanistic, and translational research program. The 11 faculty involved in the Center are all at the La Jolla campus of UCSD, most have worked together for many years, and several are new young investigators that have been recruited to or mentored within the Center.

The Administrative Core supports the Center, provides the Enrichment Programs, and facilitates interactions within the Center and the NCTRI Program. The new Education/Outreach Core is novel and exciting. Unique strengths of the Center include its translational accomplishments, outstanding faculty, long-term leadership, integration of clinical and basic research, cohesive collaboration, and location at UC San Diego in La Jolla.

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