The Institute Of Human Nutrition

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Faculty and Staff

Nutritional and Metabolic Doctoral Training Faculty

Debra J. Wolgemuth

Debra J. Wolgemuth, Ph.D.

Professor of Genetics and Development and Obstetrics and Gynecology


B.A. - 1969, Gettysburg College
M.A. - 1971, Vanderbilt University
Ph.D. - 1977, Columbia University 


Research Interests

Dr. Wolgemuth's major research interests focus on understanding the genetic control of gametogenesis and oncogenesis.  There are several projects that investigate the regulation of the mitotic and meiotic cell cycles during spermatogenesis and oogenesis.  The experimental approaches use gene targeting and transgenic technology to manipulate the expression of cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, and other components of the cell cycle machinery to elucidate their function in gametes, and embryos and to develop animal models of cancer.  Her laboratory has shown that the mouse cyclin A1 gene is essential for transition from the G2/M phase in male germ cells.  The arrested spermatocytes cannot produce haploid cells and undergo apoptosis.    Cyclin A1's functions have also been pursued in a new animal model for acute myeloid leukemia in which cyclin A1 is driven to myeloid precursor cells and the subsequent development of leukemia is monitored.  Other projects include studying the role of retinoic acid signaling in spermatogenesis and in the development of the male and female reproductive system, and the function of a novel bromodomain-containing gene family in the male and female reproductive systems and in breast cancer.


Recent Publications - Pubmed

Liao C. Li SQ. Wang X. Muhlrad S. Bjartell A. Wolgemuth DJ. Elevated levels and distinct patterns of expression of A-type cyclins and their associated cyclin-dependent kinases in male germ cell tumors. International Journal of Cancer 108:654-64, 2004.

Chung, S.S.W., W. Sung, X.Y. Wang, D.J. Wolgemuth Retinoic Acid Receptor alpha is Required for Synchronization of Spermatogenic Cycles and its Absence Results in Progressive Breakdown of the Spermatogenic Process. Deve Dynamics 239:754-766, 2004.

Lele, KM and Wolgemuth DJ.  Distinct Regions of the mouse Ccna1 Gene Confer Male Germ-Cell Specific Expression and Enhancer Function.  Biol Reprod 71:1340-7, 2004.

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