Two areas that Dr. Peter Leung’s area is focusing on are:
Endocrine control of reproduction
The aim of this project is to better understand the hormonal control of reproductive function by GnRH. Experiments are designed to test the hypothesis that, in addition to its well-known role in the regulation of pituitary hormone secretion, GnRH is also an autocrine regulator of ovarian hormone production. Further experiments are proposed to examine the regulation of the human GnRH receptor, at the level of gene transcription. It is expected that this research will lead to a better understanding on the cellular and molecular basis underlying the use of GnRH analogs in many different areas of reproductive medicine, such as fertility and sterility, control of ovulation and assisted reproductive technology.
Normal and neoplastic ovarian surface epithelium -endocrine and hereditary influences
The purpose of this project is to define the molecular mechanisms which underlie the control of normal and neoplastic OSE cell growth, differentiation and expression of indicators of neoplastic progression, by GnRH and other key reproductive hormones. Also, the hormonal response of OSE isolated from overtly normal ovaries of women with and without family histories of ovarian cancer will be examined, in order to define the specific abnormalities in the OSE that lead to a high risk of developing ovarian cancer. The results of this research will be relevant to the development of more efficient chemotherapeutic methods for ovarian cancer treatment.