Research

The Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility
The Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility includes clinical trials and basic research.

Basic and clinical research are integral to the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility education and patient care missions.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), private grants, and the department, our faculty and fellows are active in clinical trials and basic research–all aimed at increasing our understanding so that we can better care for our patients.

Basic Research

In Lisa Halvorson, M.D.'s Laboratory, basic scientists are examining the neuroendocrine control of reproduction with an emphasis on the role of the anterior pituitary, the gland that produces the gonadotropins, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).

Investigators are trying to identify the molecular mechanisms that lead to the onset of fertility and also contribute to its cessation during menopause.

Clinical Research

Elsewhere in the division, Bruce Carr, M.D. and Victor Beshay, M.D. are studying the role of CYP17 (17-hydroxylase) in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder that can affect a woman’s ability to become pregnant.

They have identified a transcription factor, c-FOS, which appears to control and inhibit CYP17 production in the ovary. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop new clinical protocols to treat women suffering from PCOS.

Complimenting this basic research, our faculty and fellows are active in clinical research on such topics as endometriosis, leiomyoma, contraception, menopause, PCOS, and infertility.

As a member of the NIH Contraceptive Clinical Trials Network, we are evaluating innovative methods of female contraception. Protocols include the use of spermicides, the vaginal ring, and female condoms. We also collaborate with pharmaceutical companies in the evaluation of new therapies for contraception and the treatment of endocrine conditions that affect reproductive health, fertility, and menopause.