Mission: Reproductive Physiology supports the teaching, research and clinical service efforts of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine
Teaching: Reproductive Physiology offers the course Research in Reproductive Physiology for fourth year medical students. In this course, students develop a research topic with the support of the laboratory staff on some aspect of reproduction. The laboratory and staff are available to instruct Obstetrics and Gynecology department residents in research procedures, computer methods and statistical methods for their research efforts. The laboratory is also available to support the research efforts of Obstetrics and Gynecology faculty.
Research: Reproductive Physiology conducts projects in a variety of areas including: neuroendocrinology, cervical cancer, ovarian function, fetal lung maturity, parturition and gestational diabetes. Experimental neuroendocrinology has been a long standing research theme. Projects in this area have dealt with the regulation of prolactin and gonadotropin secretion. Currently, the laboratory is investigating transforming growth factor Beta and SMAD roles in cervical cancer. Other past investigation studies included the effects of reproductive hormone feedback on hypothalamic structures regulating insulin secretion. Experimental studies on ovarian function have investigated the roles of the autonomic nervous system and nicotine. Fetal lung maturity studies have explored the roles of tocolytics and the effect of rupture of the fetal membranes on lung maturation and the utility of fetal lung maturity testing in the management of premature infants. Parturition studies have employed the rat and have investigated the roles of pelvic nerves in the parturition process. We are currently investigating the role of weight gain in the course of pregnancies complicated by gestational diabetes.
Service: Reproductive Physiology maintains a fully accredited clinical laboratory. Currently the laboratory performs fetal lung maturity testing, but in the past semen analysis and sperm banking have been offered. The staff are capable of setting up high complexity testing and preparing protocols and the necessary accreditation documentation.
Facilities: Reproductive Physiology maintains a laboratory in the Brody Medical Science Building. This laboratory is equipped for radioimmunoassay, immunohistochemistry, radioreceptor assay, western and northern blot analysis, tissue preparation for biochemical testing, pulmonary surfactant assay, and small animal surgery. Major equipment includes fume hoods, a gamma counter, liquid scintillation counter, surgical microscope, isoflurane anesthesia vaporizer, stereotaxic equipment, HPLC unit with an electrochemical detector, preparative centrifuges, analytical balances, and microcomputers. In addition, there is access to a cold room, dark room and histological equipment.
Charles Hodson, Ph.D.
Greenville, NC 27834