Comparative Biosciences Features

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Comparative Biosciences Features

Meet Dr. Megan Mahoney

Published Date:June 20, 2008

Megan Mahoney, assistant professor of veterinary biosciences, received her PhD in Zoology and Evolutionary Biology and Behavior from Michigan State University in 2003.

Before coming to Illinois, Dr. Mahoney worked as a research scientist at the University of Michigan's Department of Psychology and as a postdoctoral fellow in their Reproductive Sciences Program.

A winner of the 2006 Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology's Young Investigator Award, Dr. Mahoney's recent work includes the study of related antigen expression in the suprachiasmatic nucleus and surrounding regions in the diurnal rodent.

Published Date: June 20, 2008


Marie-Claude Hofmann Receives Independent Scientist Award

Published Date:February 12, 2008

Marie-Claude Hofmann, associate professor of veterinary biosciences, has received an Independent Scientist Award from the National Institutes of Health.

The Independent Scientist Award is intended to foster the development of outstanding scientists and enable them to expand their potential to make significant contributions to their field of research. It provides three, four, or five years of salary support and protected time or newly independent scientists who demonstrate the need for a period of intensive research focus as a means of enhancing their research careers.

Dr. Hofmann's current research seeks to answer questions about stem cell biology using spermatogonial stem cells as a model.

Learn more about Dr. Marie-Claude Hofmann

Published Date: February 12, 2008


NIH Funds New Reproduction Research Center at Illinois

Published Date:February 8, 2008

The Advisory Council of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has approved funding to support a Center for Reproduction and Infertility Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The center will support research aimed at expanding the science underlying the success or failure of human reproduction with the goal of improving human reproductive health.

The Department of Veterinary Biosciences faculty who will lead synergistic research projects at the center are Indrani Bagchi and Paul Cooke.

Published Date: February 8, 2008


Yao to Receive Young Investigator Award

Published Date:February 8, 2008

Humphrey Yao, assistant professor of veterinary biosciences, will receive the 2008 New Investigator Award at the annual meeting for the Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR) in May 2008 where he will make a presentation showcasing his research.

This award recognizes members of the Society for outstanding research completed and published within 10 years after receiving the PhD or other equivalent professional degree. Criteria include originality, conceptual breakthrough, contribution and significance to the field and development of new methodology, technology or clinical procedures.

"His accomplishments as an independent investigator, teacher and mentor of graduate students and as a faculty member have been stellar," remarked one of Yao's nominators. "He has established a very mature research program and has made solid and novel contributions to the field of reproductive biology."

The research focus of Dr. Yao's laboratory is to understand the fundamental process for the formation of sex organs in mammals. His lab uses genetic mouse models and molecular approaches to define the cellular process for gonadal development and establishment of the reproductive organs. Dr. Yao and his group hope that one day they can apply this knowledge to understand the origins of reproductive problems such as reproductive birth defects and infertility in humans.

One of Dr. Yao's recent projects has centered on locating the gene that spurs development of the epididymis, an organ essential for male fertility. In spring of 2007, Yao's research team discovered a mutant mouse embryo that led them to a gene essential for the coiling of epididymis.

Published Date: February 8, 2008


$3 Million Grant Furthers Study of Risk Factors for Hot Flashes

Published Date:September 25, 2007

With the help of a five-year, $3 million grant from the National Institute of Aging, a professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine will begin to examine why obesity is associated with increased risk of hot flashes in mid-life women. Earlier this year, Dr. Jodi Flaws, veterinary biosciences professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, found that obese women have lower levels of estrogen. Her new study, entitled "Risk Factors for Hot Flashes in Mid-Life Women," will test the hypothesis that obesity is associated with hot flashes through mechanisms that involve ovarian failure, altered sex steroid hormone levels, and selected genetic polymorphisms. Dr. Flaws and her colleagues at Johns Hopkins University will recruit obese and non-obese perimenopausal women aged 45 to 54 and will follow them for four years to determine whether differences in hormones or genetics increase risk of hot flashes. While most participants will be recruited from the state of Maryland, some may be recruited within Illinois.

Published Date: September 25, 2007