The Raetzman Lab’s overall goal is to define the normal complement of signals that stem cells use to make fate choices in the hypothalamus. As a part of reaching this goal, we study the pituitary gland, which is responsible for producing the adrenocorticotropic hormone, growth hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone, gonadotropins, and prolactin. Hormones which are essential for growth, fertility, lactation, metabolism, and the body’s response to stress. Our main areas of interests include:
- Pituitary gland development, including what makes pituitary cells divide, turn into hormone-producing cells, and move so they can be in contact with the bloodstream.
- Notch signaling and how cell-cell communication within the pituitary and from the brain to the pituitary to influence pituitary formation.
- Dwarfism, this is what results if the pituitary does not make growth hormone or thyroid-stimulating hormone-producing cells during development.
- Pituitary tumors, this is what happens when pituitary cells don’t stop dividing or multiply inappropriately in response to environmental cues. Amazingly, one out of every five people harbors a pituitary tumor.
Our Principal Investigator is Lori T. Raetzman.
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