Medical Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2007
Mentor: Stephen R Hammes
Department: Internal Medicine
Room number: Y9.310
Mail Code: 8857
Phone number: 214-648-3749
Project title: Steroid Production and Signaling in the Ovary
Human subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable):
Animal subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): 0867-01-01-1
Project Type (patient-based research, animal-based research, or basic research; this characterization is only to permit a general classification for grouping similar types of projects) Basic and Animal-based Research
Brief Description of Project:
The Hammes laboratory studies steroid synthesis and steroid actions in the ovary. We use a number of modalities to study these processes, including cell culture, molecular biology, biochemistry, and mouse genetics. In addition, since Dr. Hammes is a physician-scientist, we are always interested in relating our basic research to clinical disease.
Our laboratory has a particular interest in transcription-independent, or nongenomic, steroid-mediated signaling. We use the phenomenon of androgen-induced maturation, or meiotic resumption, of frog and mouse oocytes to study this nongenomic steroid signaling. We use this system for three reasons: First, androgen-induced oocyte maturation is reproducible, biologically relevant, and easily measured. Second, oocytes can be manipulated in vitro to study androgen-mediated events. Finally, supraphysiologic androgen concentrations may be promoting ovarian pathology in diseases of androgen excess such as polycystic ovarian disease (PCOS), the leading cause of infertility in reproductive age women. In fact, we have discovered selective androgen receptor modulators, or SARMs, that specifically modulate nongenomic versus genomic androgen receptor-mediated signals, and hope to use these compounds to selectively regulate androgen effects in the ovaries of individuals with androgen excess from PCOS.
In addition to regulating androgen signaling in the ovary, our laboratory is also interested in modulating ovarian androgen production. We have discovered some novel signaling pathways that are critical for steroidogenesis in the ovary, and are studying specific inhibitors of these pathways in hopes of using them to reduce androgen production in PCOS.
Previous Research Activities or Publications with Medical Students:
Bruce, Kristin and Hammes, S.R., Nongenomic Actions of Progesterone in Xenopus
Oocytes, Poster presented at the 39th Medical Student Research Forum.
Stair, Matthew and Hammes, S.R., Differential Sensitivities of the Xenopus Androgen Receptor and the Human Androgen Receptor, Oral Presentation at the 40th Medical Student Research Forum.
Cowling, C.L., Gill, A., Lutz, L.B., Jahani, D., Rasar, M., and Hammes, S.R., The Role of the Androgen Receptor in Xenopus Laevis Oocyte Maturation, Poster presented at the 41st Medical Student Research Forum.
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