Neuropeptides in Reproduction

The focus of our laboratory group has been the elucidation of hypothalamic pathways that control human reproduction, including the genetic architecture of puberty and fertility. Our studies in a hypogonadotropic family uncovered a homozygous mutation in the kisspeptin receptor (KISS1R, akaGPR54) in 2003, demonstrating that kisspeptin signaling is a critical trigger for GnRH release from the hypothalamus. Having discovered that kisspeptin is a gatekeeper for sexual reproduction and reproduction, our laboratory has built a bench-to-bedside program in kisspeptin biology attracting both independent NIH funding as well as trainees from around the globe.

We utilize genetic ablation studies in mice and physiologic studies in non-human primates, but the cornerstone of our program is human investigation in physiologic and pathophysiologic states (men, women, and children) as we seek the diagnostic and therapeutic applications of kisspeptin and its analogues.

RESEARCH PROGRAM

Senior Investigator: Stephanie Seminara, MD
Co-Investigator: Yee-Ming Chan, MD, PhD
Jr. Investigator: Margaret Lippincott, MD
Biomedical Research Career Award Fellow: Isabella McDonald