ResearchWe use Xenopus, mouse and the Western spadefoot toad as model systems for our investigations. Our primary focus is on animals with complex life cycles (i.e., metamorphosing amphibians) because they provide unique opportunities to study the molecular basis of hormone action, environmental effects on development (phenotypic plasticity) and life history evolution. Our research is multidisciplinary, spanning evolution, development, ecology and cellular and molecular biology.
Research in my laboratory at the The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is focused on hormone action in postembryonic development. The current topics are:
I. The developmental biology of leptin and leptin receptors
II. Epigenetic programming by exposure to glucocorticoids early in life
III. Molecular mechanisms of gene regulation by thyroid hormone and corticosteroid receptors during mouse and frog brain development
IV. Neuroendocrine mechanisms of developmental plasticity
V. Structural and functional evolution of the corticotropin releasing-factor family of neuropeptides
VI. Molecular basis for hormone action in amphibian metamorphosis