The ovine sexually dimorphic nucleus (oSDN) of the preoptic area
My research goal is to obtain an integrated understanding of the steroid-sensitive brain circuitry, neurochemical mechanisms, and the subcellular signaling pathways that mediate the central actions of androgens.
A major research focus is the characterization of the aromatase-signaling pathway in neural tissue. Aromatase is a cytochrome P450 enzyme (CYP 19) that catalyzes the conversion of testosterone to estradiol. I have recently found that the pattern of aromatase expression within the sheep brain is correlated with sexual partner preferences in adult rams and am studying how these associations between androgen signaling and behavior develop.
A second research direction in my laboratory aims to understand the cellular mechanism(s) by which herbal preparations inhibit prostate growth and to explore their potential as viable treatments for prostate carcinoma.