Marvin C. Gershengorn, M.D., Chief
Douglas Forrest, Ph.D.
Kai Ge, Ph.D.
S. Stoney Simons Jr., Ph.D.
The Laboratory of Endocrinology and Receptor Biology (LERB) comprises four distinct sections, each led by one of the lab’s senior investigators.
The Receptor and Hormone Action Section, headed by Marvin C. Gershengorn, studies the molecular details of signaling and the regulation of G protein-coupled, seven transmembrane-spanning receptors, in particular those for thyrotropin (TSH, thyroid-stimulating hormone) and thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH). The biology of these receptors is also studied in mouse models.
The Steroid Hormones Section, led by S. Stoney Simons, Jr., focuses on a molecular understanding of the three characteristic parameters of steroid-regulated gene expression: total activity, the steroid concentration at which half-maximal response is seen (EC50), and the partial agonist activity of antisteroids. These parameters are not invariant, as was believed for many years, but can be modulated by numerous factors. Increased mechanistic insight into modulatory factor actions will permit greater control of differential gene expression by steroid hormones during development, differentiation, homeostasis, and endocrine therapies.
The Nuclear Receptor Biology Section, headed by Douglas Forrest, investigates the critical role of thyroid hormone in mammalian development. Thyroid hormone responses are mediated by a small family of thyroid hormone nuclear receptors that act as ligand-regulated transcription factors. The Forrest group also investigates the developmental role of orphan nuclear receptors, a related class of receptors that lack known physiological ligands.
The Adipocyte Biology and Gene Regulation Section, led by Kai Ge, uses adipogenesis and other model systems to study the transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of gene expression and cell differentiation, with a focus on histone-modifying enzymes.