Lawson Laboratory In the Department of Reproductive Medicine

Research Interests

Here is a brief description of our research interests.  If you would like more information on our most current research, feel free to contact the lab.

Translational Control of Gene Expression

GnRH Induces the UPR The reproductive hormones Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) are synthesized and released by the gonadotrope cells of the anterior pituitary.  Both processes are controlled by the hypothalamic peptide hormone Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone, or GnRH.  Our lab has shown that GnRH regulates protein synthesis through the activation of the translation initiation machinery and ensures protein quality by activation of the unfolded protein response.  We are currently investigating how these processes contributes to the overall function of the gonadotrope and ultimately to reproduction.

Pulsatility and Gene Expression

Pulse Array Summary The relative synthesis and release of LH and FSH impacts gonadal function and the proportions of each hormone released into the general circulation determine reproductive status.  The relative synthesis of each hormone is controlled by pulsatile stimulation of the anterior pituitary by GnRH.  we are investigating the mechanisms regulating relative gene expression through changes in GnRH pulse frequency and amplitude.

Signaling Interaction

Insulin, BMI, and Gonadotropins Hormones and metabolic factors communicate the current status of many physiological systems to the tissues of the body.  In the pituitary these signals can modify the production of reproductive e hormones.  This in turn has  a great impact of reproduction.  We are investigating how other signals are decoded by the pituitary and impact the pituitary response to GnRH stimulation.

Biology of the GnRH Neuron

The GnRH-producing neurons of the hypothalamus are the master regulators of reproduction.  As the source of GnRH, we are interested in the development and regulation of these cells.  Our current work has focused on the role other hormones play in the production and secretion of GnRH from these highly specialized cells.

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