|Mailing Address:||513 Parnassus Ave, Box 0556
San Francisco, CA 94143-0132
Our laboratory studies the regulation of steroid hormone synthesis, by analyzing the transcriptional regulation of the steroidogenic enzymes, and the mechanism of action of steroids in both steroidogenic tissues and in the nervous system, where we identified the developmental and regional expression of steroidogenic enzymes and some novel actions of steroids on neuronal function. Steroid hormones are regulators of a multitude of physiologic processes, and act primarily by activating nuclear receptors, which are transcriptional regulators of various genes. However in the nervous system, where we found steroidogenic enzymes and synthesis of a novel class of steroid, called neurosteroids, neurosteroids modulate ion flux through the ion gated GABA A and NMDA receptors, and regulation of their synthesis results in changes in behavior, learning, and memory.
We delineated the ontogeny and sites of steroidogenic enzyme expression , and showed that neurosteroids affect neuronal development by specifically modulating either axonal or dendritic growth and neuronal differentiation.Their actions throughout life may maintain the integrity of neural connections, and demise of neurosteroid synthesis may result in loss of memory associated with some age-related neurologic diseases. Our studies thus rely on a number of different experimental paradigms, from molecular biologic analysis of gene structure and transcription factors to developmental and cell biology of neuronal development and function.
|Year||Institution & Location||Degree||Field of Study|
|1975||Rutger College, New Jersey||B.A.||Biochemistry|
|1975||Columbia University, New York||M.A.||Biochemistry|
|1979||Columbia University, New York||M.Phil||Biochemistry|
|1979||Columbia University, New York||Ph.D.||Biochemistry|
Achievements & Recognition
|1975||Phi Beta Kappa|
|1974-75||Henry Rutgers Scholar in Biochemistry, Rutgers University, Cum Laude, distinction in Biochemistry|
|1991||Richard E. Weitzman Memorial Award from The Endocrine Society for outstanding young investigator|
|2004 -06||President, Women in Endocrinology|
|2006||Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science|