Areas of Interest
Growth hormone plays an essential role in regulating growth in children and adolescents. For many years growth hormone has been used to promote growth in children with growth hormone deficiency and more recently for other disorders that retard growth. Growth hormone also affects body metabolism and is used therapeutically for AIDS-associated wasting, short bowel syndrome, and in burn patients.
Our lab uses biochemistry, confocal microscopy, and mass spectrometry to study the early signaling events activated when growth hormone binds to its receptor. Currently our studies are focused on JAK2, a tyrosine kinase that binds to and activates growth hormone receptor, and SH2B1b, a gene recently linked to obesity in humans and mice. JAK2 is an essential component of most if not all signaling in response to not only growth hormone, but approximately two thirds of the ligands for receptors in the cytokine family of receptors. SH2B1b binds JAK2, and regulates the actin cytoskeleton and cell motility. We are also investigating the mechanism by which SH2B1b regulates nerve growth factor-dependent differentiation of PC12 (pheochromocytoma) cells into a neuronal phenotype.
Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1991