Naoki Yamanaka, Ph.D.

Pew.Feature.Scholar.Bio.Title
Assistant Professor
Pew.Feature.Scholar.Bio.Department
Entomology
Pew.Feature.Scholar.Bio.Institution
University of California, Riverside
Pew.Feature.Scholar.Bio.Address
900 University Ave.
Pew.Feature.Scholar.Bio.City, Pew.Feature.Scholar.Bio.State, Pew.Feature.Scholar.Bio.Zip
Riverside, CA 92521
Pew.Feature.Scholar.Bio.Phone
(951) 827-5253
Pew.Feature.Scholar.Bio.Email
[email protected]
Pew.Feature.Scholar.Bio.Website
https://www.yamanakalab.com
Pew.Feature.Scholar.Bio.ResearchField
Endocrinology
Pew.Feature.Scholar.Bio.AwardYear
2017

Research

My research group plans to identify chemicals that interrupt the entry of steroid hormones into cells. To exert their biological effects on metabolism, immunity, or sexual maturation, steroid hormones must find their way into the appropriate cells. According to most textbooks, these chemicals simply slip across the cell membrane with no help from the sort of cell-surface transporters that import other hormones. But our lab recently discovered a transporter in fruit flies that transports the steroid responsible for molting into the insects’ cells. Using state-of-the-art techniques in genetics, cell and molecular biology, and chemical screening, my team will search for similar steroid transporters in mammalian cells, ascertain whether these transporters are essential for hormone activity, and isolate molecules that can modulate hormone uptake. These findings would transform our understanding of steroid biology and could point the way to novel means of manipulating a variety of steroid-related processes ranging from sexual maturation to immune responses and cancer progression.

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