The primary objective of my basic research is to elucidate the roles of fetal and placental hormones in the regulation of maternal metabolism and fetal growth. My work has focused on the lactogenic hormones produced by the pituitary gland and placenta. In recent studies we have explored the molecular mechanisms by which prolactin and placental lactogen regulate pancreatic insulin production and control lipid metabolism during pregnancy and postnatal life.
I also have a clinical research interest in the pathogenesis and treatment of obesity and hyperlipidemia and the prevention of type 2 diabetes. Recent studies show that the drug metformin reduces fat stores and blood glucose and insulin levels in obese adolescents and may reduce the risk of progression to diabetes in selected patients. Finally, we are exploring the clinical course of diabetic children with celiac disease, an common intestinal disorder that affects nutrient absorption.