Faculty and Research Interests
Jeyasuria (Suria) Pancharatnam
Ph.D., University of Maryland
Dr. Jeyasuria’s interests are in the role of nuclear receptors in mammalian testicular and ovarian development and differentiation. Recently my work has focused on defining the role of SF-1, post-gonadal formation and to elucidate for the first time, the in-vivo function of SF-1 postnatally in the testis and ovary. The studies involved the use of conditional SF-1 knockouts and the Cre-Lox system. By utilizing a conditional SF-1 allele and Cre recombinase (Cre) driven by the anti-Müllerian hormone type 2 receptor (AmhR2) promoter we inactivated SF-1 in both the Leydig and granulosa cell precursors as early as E11.5 (1,2).
Nuclear receptors have been shown to have important roles in testicular as well as ovarian development and function. To this end I would like to understand the role of LRH-1 in reproduction. LRH-1 function may overlap with that of SF-1 in the regulation of steroid biosynthesis. LRH-1 when globally knocked out, results in an embryonic lethal phenotype at E7.5. The use of a conditional knockout system allows us to define the role of specific genes in specific tissues and also allows us to study genes both temporally and spatially without the outcome of embryonic death seen in the global knockouts (3). Our future research plan involves creating both an aromatase and a LRH-1 loxed mouse that can be used in conjunction with the widely available, allele specific Cre expressing mice to define the role of embryonic and postnatally expressed aromatase and LRH-1 in a gestational and tissue specific manner. The overall goal of our future research is, with a combination of the molecular techniques we have outlined, identify new genes and elucidate their function in mammalian testicular and ovarian development and adult reproductive function.
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