Endocrinology is the study of hormones, molecules made in one part of the body and travel through the blood to have actions at distant sites. The endocrine system acts to coordinate several body processes including energy use, reproductive function, blood pressure, and growth. Faculty in the Department of Physiology study the role of hormones in cardiovascular function, inflammation, and stress. The Department offers an advanced Endocrine course.
My research interests lie in understanding the mechanisms by which hormones, growth factors, cytokines and other signaling molecules instruct cells to respond appropriately to perform their functions. Our current project is investigating the regulation of keratinocyte growth and differentiation and a second defining the signaling mechanisms regulating aldosterone secretion from the adrenal gland. In the first project in skin, we are defining the role of the signaling enzymes phospholipase D (PLD) in promoting epidermal keratinocyte differentiation and protein kinase D (PKD) in supporting keratinocyte proliferation and survival.
Cardiovascular-renal integrative physiology and hypertension. Longstanding interest in renal and hormonal mechanisms for chronic blood pressure and circulatory system control in states of insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, and diabetes.
Obesity and its associated health comorbidities are a worldwide epidemic with serious economic and health burden on society. The long-term research interest in the lab is to understand the regulation of white, beige and brown adipose tissue development and energy homeostasis, and use it to develop potential therapeutic approaches for obesity and related metabolic diseases.
My research focuses on factors that influence the control of food intake, body weight and body composition. We have an emphasis on the role of leptin, a hormone that is secreted by adipose tissue and acts to suppress food intake as well as modify peripheral metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Currently, we are examining how leptin responses in different areas of the brain are integrated to reduce meal size, energy intake and body fat mass.
Studies in the Mattson laboratory examine the normal and pathophysiological regulation of renal function and arterial blood pressure. A particular emphasis is placed on the paracrine, autocrine, and hormonal regulation of renal tubular and vascular function. Additional studies are geared toward an understanding of the genetic basis of hypertension and renal disease.
“The measure of greatness in a scientific idea is the extent to which it stimulates thought and opens up new lines of research.”