Research Interests

I have had a life-long interest in endocrine physiology, with particular emphasis on parathyroid hormone (PTH) and its role in normal and pathophysiological calcium and bone metabolism. The methodology has been to determine the molecular and cellular basis of PTH action through analysis of the structure of the hormone, its receptor, and the nature and consequences of their interaction. Clinical disorders in the field have been approached with the tools derived from more basic studies. For example, chemical synthesis of biologically active hormone permitted direct tests of hormone actions in vivo and have led to formal clinical trials of PTH given in short pulses in osteoporotic bone-a condition of weakened bone with fracture propensity that invariably develops with ageing. PTH has proven to be the leading anabolic (i.e., direct bone-building) therapeutic agent that reverses much of the bone loss in osteoporosis. My current interests focus on the precise cellular biological pathways induced by intermittent PTH therapy, since its beneficial effects appear paradoxical in light of the bone-weakening effects seen with prolonged hormone elevations in disease.

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Section 42: Medical Physiology and Metabolism