Current Research and Scholarly Interests
Steroid hormones act by binding to intracellular receptors that regulate the expression of specific genes in target cells. My group is studying a number of aspects that relate molecular and cellular events of hormone action at the receptor level to clinically relevant questions. Some of the current projects are as follows:
1. Investigation of the role of vitamin D as a differentiating and antiproliferative agent with the potential to affect malignancy, specifically to benefit breast and prostate cancer.
2. Studies of the metabolic effects of obesity to cause increased risk and worse prognosis in breast cancer in mouse models and in patients with breast cancer. Study of whether vitamin D can reduce the risk and/or improve the likelihood of a better outcome.
3. Study vitamin D action on cancer in cultured cells, in mouse models of cancer and in trials in patients with breast cancer.
4. Analysis of the endocrinologic and molecular mechanisms regulating vitamin D receptor expression and action thereby modulating target organ responsiveness to the actions of vitamin D and its analogs.
5. Elucidation of the molecular basis of hereditary vitamin D resistant rickets, a genetic disease due to mutations in the vitamin D receptor.