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Physiology Research

Physiology Research

Dr. Adel Pezeshki

An understanding of energy balance regulation is critical for developing novel strategies to improve the metabolic health and growth in both animals and humans. The energy balance regulation and changes in body weight and body composition are dependent on controls operating on food intake, energy expenditure and metabolism. There is substantial evidence that both quality and quantity of dietary protein and amino acids profile alter the food intake, energy expenditure and metabolism. However, the physiological mechanisms by which dietary proteins or individual amino acids regulate energy balance and metabolism are largely unknown. Using pigs as experimental units, the goal of Dr. Pezeshki’s research is to investigate the potential of dietary protein and amino acids in modulating the energy balance, identify key molecules that regulate these changes and characterize the pathways for their action. Dr. Pezeshki’s group approaches the above aims by assessing various physiological parameters and mechanisms using variety of technologies and tools (e.g. indirect calorimetery, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and etc.).

Dr. Leon Spicer

Dr. Spicer’s research endeavors involve a wide range of in vivo and in vitro approaches to study nutritional and hormonal control of ovarian function and follicular development.  Experimental approaches span from evaluating control of steroidogenesis, mitogenesis and gene expression in ovarian cells to determining the effect of nutritional supplements on ovarian function and milk production in dairy cattle.

Dr. Spicer’s recent efforts have utilized microarray technology to discover genes involved in the control of ovarian function.  Specifically, his laboratory has discovered several unique porcine granulosa cell genes stimulated by insulin-like growth factor 1, including thrombospondin and fibroblast growth factor 2 receptor.  In addition, bovine granulosa cell gene expression in cystic and normal follicles were compared and several novel genes not previously identified in bovine follicles were discovered, including Indian hedgehog protein, brain ribonuclease, and fibroblast growth factor 9 (FGF9).  This work has led to identification of possible roles for Indian hedgehog protein, brain ribonuclease, and FGF9 in ovarian follicular development in cattle.


Dr. Adel PezeshkiAdel Pezeshki
Assistant Professor
Nutritional Physiology
206C Animal Science
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Leon SpicerLeon Spicer
Reproductive Physiology
114D Animal Science

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