Green Center Members and Labs
The Green Center consists of members from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as about 20 additional members from a variety of other departments on the North and South campuses.
The Director, W. Lee Kraus, Ph.D., is located on the 7th floor of the Moss (J) Building. The new faculty hires will also be located there. Drs. Halvorson, Mahendroo, and Word (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology) are located on the 2nd floor of the Cary (F) Building. Dr. Mendelson (Biochemistry) is located on the 3rd floor of the Jonsson (K) Building.
Green Center Members
Research: Mechanisms of nuclear signaling and gene regulation by small molecules and the relationship of these signaling pathways to human diseases. Our focus is on two distinct, but probably related, nuclear signaling pathways controlled by estrogens and NAD.
Research: Using zebrafish as a genetic and developmental model in combination with mammalian systems to study transcriptional mechanisms that regulate the differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells, focusing on the interplay between different transcriptional phases. She will also study the epigenetic regulation affecting the Pol II elongation through chromatin and identify novel pathways interacting with the elongation machinery.
Dr. Banaszynski studies epigenetic contributions to gene expression and genome stability in mammalian systems. Her research focuses on the dynamic regulation of chromatin states at both coding and non-coding regions including the influence of histone variant incorporation on histone post-translational modification states. Her long-term goal is to improve our understanding of the chromatin-based mechanisms regulating fundamental cell-fate decisions in pluripotency and differentiation that are essential to our understanding of developmental processes.
Research: Regulation of Steroidogensis in the ovary, adrenal and placenta. Specifically, the regulation of CYP 17 expression. In addition, conducting clinical trials of women with endometriosis, uterine leiomyoma, infertility, and fertility control.
Research: The Castrillon laboratory has broad interests in the intersection of reproduction, infertility, and cancer. Areas of special interest include P13K/Foxo signaling in the control and preservation of the gemline and the role of the LKB1/MTOR pathway in diverse cancers of the reproductive tract.
Cheng-Ming Chiang, Ph.D.
Laboratory: Chiang Laboratory
Research: Epigenetic control of gene regulation, mechanisms of transcriptional regulation in mammalian cells and in human papillomaviruses, and posttranslational modification of protein function.
Joel Elmquist, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Internal Medicine/Hypothalamic Research
Laboratory: Elmquist Lab
Research: Dr. Elmquist's research focuses on identifying the pathways in the brain regulating body weight and glucose homeostasis. Toward these goals, Dr. Elmquist and colleagues have developed several mouse models that allow specific manipulation of key genes regulating energy balance and glucose homeostasis.
F. Kent Hamra, Ph.D.
Laboratory: Hamra Lab
Research: Research in our laboratory is based on the biology and applications of sperm cells (i.e. spermatogonial cells). Spermatogonial stem cells function physiologically as germline stem cells in the testis by continuously renewing developing spermatozoa during the reproductive life of males. By nature, this links our investigations in pharmacology to several general scientific fields, in particular, reproductive biology, developmental biology, and genetics.
Research: Our primary research interest is to develop a comprehensive understanding of how the millions of non-coding regulatory elements encoded in our genomes precisely coordinate gene expression in developmental and disease contexts. A major focus is elucidating how genetic and epigenetic dysregulation of transcriptional enhancers supports a cancer cell’s altered transcriptional program. To accomplish this, we take a systems biology approach: developing and employing integrative techniques at the interface of gene regulation, epigenetics, functional genomics, and bioinformatics.
Ralf Kittler, Ph.D.
Eugene McDermott Center for Growth and Development
Laboratory: Kittler Lab
Research: Cancer genomics. The Kittler lab is studying cancer-specific genetic programs, which are key for the development of new diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic strategies. We combine analyses of the genomic binding sites (ChIP-Seq) of cancer-relevant transcription factors, epigenetic, gene expression, and clinical outcome data to make specific predictions about the role of transcription factors and functional interaction of multiple transcription factors in the regulation of cancer-relevant gene networks.
Research: Using structural biology to study the molecular mechanisms of pRb inactivation by a viral oncoprotein, the structural basis of protein acetylation by p300/CBP, and the mechanisms of transcriptional initiation by RNA polymerase II and associated factors. He will address the molecular mechanisms of start site selection for RNA polymerase II. In parallel, he will explore the RNA polymerase II transcription in the context of the three-dimensional structure of the genome, focusing on transcription-dependent gene looping.
Mala Mahendroo, Ph.D.
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Laboratory: Mahendroo Laboratory
Research: My research interests include an understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which the cervix remodels during pregnancy, parturition and postpartum to allow birth and subsequent recovery of the cervix to the nonpregnant state. Our focus is on understanding the contribution of the extracellular matrix, immune cells, and cervical cells to this process and their regulation during all phases of cervical remodeling.
David Mangelsdorf, Ph.D.
Laboratory: Mangelsdorf-Kliewer Lab
Research: The Mangelsdorf/Kliewer lab studies nuclear receptor regulation of metabolism and cancer. Recent studies have elucidated two endocrine signaling pathways mediated by fibroblast growth factors that govern fasting and feeding.
Carole Mendelson, Ph.D.
Biochemistry, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Laboratory: Mendelson Laboratory
Research: Genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that mediate expression of specific genes in a tissue- and cell-specific manner, that activate gene expression at distinct phases of embryonic development, and modulate their expression by hormones and second messengers.
Research: Mechanisms of non-coding RNAs and their role in gene regulation important for development and cancer. A major focus is the molecular mechanism and regulation of microRNA processing. The long-term goal is not only to elucidate how ncRNAs work but also to identify new avenues for developing therapeutics.
Eric Olson, Ph.D.
Laboratory: Olson Lab
Research: Our lab studies muscle cells as a model for understanding how embryonic cells adopt specific fates, and how programs of cell differentiation and morphogenesis are controlled during development. We have focused on discovering novel transcription factors and extracellular signals, as well as novel transcription factors that control development of these muscle cell types and remodeling in response to cardiovascular and neuromuscular diseases.
Charles Rosenfeld, M.D.
Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Anesthesiology
Research: My lab is interested in establishing the mechanisms that contribute to the regulation of uteroplacental and fetal umbilical blood flows during pregnancy, in particular estrogens, K channels, and angiotensin II, and how they are modified in disease states such as maternal hypertension and diabetes. We are also interested in understanding vascular smooth muscle development, how that contributes to prenatal and postnatal blood pressure regulation, and how alterations in fetal growth and development alter subsequent blood pressure regulation in infancy, childhood, and the adult.
Philip Shaul, M.D.
Laboratory: Shaul-Mineo-Umetani Lab
Research: Our lab is primarily engaged in endothelial cell biology. Our overall goal is to identify the molecular components, the protein-protein interactions, the regulatory events occurring within signaling modules on the plasma membrane which dictate endothelial cell phenotype, and the propensity for vascular disease. Investigations are performed in cell culture models and in both in vitro and in vivo reconstitution systems in genetically modified mice.
Clifford Wai, M.D.
Division of Urogynecology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Laboratory: Wai Laboratory
Research: Animal models for lower urinary tract dysfunction and anal incontinence. More recently, interests have included exploring the role of mechanical trauma, denervation, pregnancy, and the effects of growth factors and myogenic stem cells on wound healing of the external anal sphincter. Other research interests include urogynecology education, functional anatomy and biomechanics of gynecologic surgical procedures, patient outcomes in incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse.
Research: Our long term goal is to understand how the nuclear receptor family of transcription factors and associated pathways regulate development, metabolism, and cancer, using the skeleton and the mammary gland as model systems.
Ann Word, M.D.
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Laboratory: Word Laboratory
Research: Mechanisms of extracellular matrix remodeling of the female reproductive tract in both physiologic states (e.g., during pregnancy, parturition, and the puerperium) and pathologic conditions (pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, and injury of the external anal sphincter)..
Research: We are interested in chromatin regulation of signaling pathways that are important for stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. The current focus is the function of ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complexes in embryonic and neural development.
Andrew Zinn, M.D., Ph.D.
Internal Medicine/Eugene McDermott Center for Growth and Development
Laboratory: Zinn Laboratory
Research: Genetic disorders of human growth, development, and reproduction, with emphasis on obesity and sex chromosome abnormalities.