Cynthia Andoniadou
  • Phone020 7188 7389
  • 2057
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Research interests (short)

Research interests

The pituitary gland is a central regulator of critical physiological processes such as metabolism, reproduction, growth and the stress response. The anterior pituitary is responsible for the continuous production of several hormones, secreted by specialised cell populations.

 

Embryonic precursors of Rathke's pouch, the primordium of the anterior pituitary, give rise to all of the hormone-producing cell types in this tissue. During adulthood, there is a requirement to replenish hormone-producing cells and to expand the populations depending on hormonal demand e.g. during pregnancy. If hormone-producing cells are depleted or impaired, levels of hormone can become insufficient, a condition known as hypopituitarism. This condition affects up to 1 in 4000 individuals and is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. Conversely, an over-proliferation of cells in the pituitary gland leads to tumours, which in turn can damage healthy pituitary tissue. Our research aims to understand better the basic biology underlying how these human conditions arise, with the ultimate goal of developing safer and better treatments.

 

We have shown that pituitary stem cells, expressing the transcription factor SOX2, are capable of generating new cells throughout life. The mechanisms that regulate the size of the stem cell pool and instruct proliferation and commitment are poorly understood. We are focusing our efforts in studying the signaling mechanisms controlling these processes in the mouse.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

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