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Comparative Endocrinology Laboratory

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We research how environmental factors affect the homeostasis of the endocrine system with an emphasis on the interrelationship of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axes and adipose tissue endocrine function. Our laboratory aims to characterize the cross-talk between the HPG, HPA and adipose tissue in the context of purturbations such as over-nutrition or stress. We have particular interests in: 1) the application of novel fat sources to improve glucose homeostasis and induce a "healthy obese phenotype" with subequent improvements in reproductive function; and 2) the sexually dimorphic influence that hyperandrogenemia in lean and high fat diet induced obese states has on systemic insulin sensitivity and signaling in adipose tissue. The long-term goal of our research is to discover dietary fat manipulations that can improve reproductive function and fertility in obese individuals.