Areas of Research

Harvard Reproductive Endocrine Sciences Center National Center for Translational Research in Reproduction and Infertility

Areas of Research

 

REU Areas of Research

Novel Gene Discovery in Reproduction

The overall goal of Dr. Crowley’s laboratory over the past 25 years has been to improve the understanding and treatment of reproductive disorders affecting humans. We have focused on gaining insights into the neuroendocrine and genetic control of GnRH secretion, its impact upon gonadotropin secretion and gonadal physiology as well as it regulation by higher neural regulation. 

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Neuropeptides in Reproduction (Kisspeptin & Neurokinin B)

Dr. Seminara leads a translational research program that studies hypothalamic neuropeptides (kisspeptin and neurokinin B) that regulate the timing of sexual maturation and maintenance of normal reproductive function across mammalian species (mice, monkeys, and man).

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Reproductive Failure and Neurodegeneration

Dr. Seminara’s research focuses on how neurodegeneration (secondary to disordered ubiquitination) can lead to hypogonadism and infertility through detailed studies in genetically engineered mice and patients with rare neurodegenerative disorders.

REU Areas of Research

Axonal Guidance Molecules in Reproduction

Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons serve as the pilot light for reproduction in all mammals. GnRH neurons originate from the nasal placode and migrate into the hypothalamus during embryonic development. Disruption of the origin or their migratory journey results in Kallmann Syndrome, a rare Mendelian disorder characterized by hypogonadotropic hypogonadism secondary to GnRH deficiency and anosmia (loss of sense of smell).

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Female Reproductive Physiology

Drs. Hall and Welt each study the physiology and pathophysiology underlying normal female reproduction. Most recently, Dr. Hall’s work has emphasized ovulatory disorders and reproductive aging; Dr. Welt has focused on the genetics of polycystic ovary syndrome and premature ovarian insufficiency. Although both of these faculty members are leading programs at other institutions, they maintain active collaborations with the REU.