Reproductive Neuroscience

The Reproductive Neuroscience group focuses on understanding the complex interrelationships between key neural networks in the central nervous system and reproductive function.


Gonadal function in males and females is dependent on hypothalamic input (GnRH) to the anterior pituitary gland to regulate gonadotropin production. Our goal is to elucidate the developmental, functional, and molecular phenotypes of the neural networks that underlie GnRH production by the hypothalamus and the cellular and molecular events underlying GnRH signaling at the level of the anterior pituitary gland. Understanding these hypothalamic and pituitary mechanisms will yield new therapeutic targets for fertility regulation and provide new insights into how the brain and the pituitary integrate diverse peripheral physiological “signals” (e.g., metabolic condition, obesity, ovarian steroids, stress, photoperiod, etc.) that lead to fertility, subfertility, and infertility.

Research Areas

Hypothalamic and pituitary mechanisms underlying the generation of the ovulatory LH surge

Cellular and molecular mechanisms of estradiol signaling in the brain and pituitary gland

Neurology of food intake and addiction

Neurology of stress and depression

CNS regulation of vascular smooth muscle and cardiovascular function

Fetal development of the hypothalamus

Group Members

Colin Clay

Specialty: Molecular Endocrinology

Christianne Magee

Group Chair | Specialty: Reproductive Endocrinology

Rick McCosh

Specialty: Reproductive Neuroendocrinology

Terry Nett

Specialty: Reproductive Endocrinology

Stuart Tobet

Specialty: Developmental Neurobiology