Organisational unit: Research Grouping
Head of Research for this group: Professor Stafford Lightman
Regulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in health and disease
Stress related disease is a rapidly increasing feature of our society - but the mechanisms through which it causes disease are very poorly understood.
We are studying the mechanisms through which the brain recognises environmental stress and disease, and the pathways it uses to initiate appropriate responses in physiological regulation and gene transcription. We have been particularly interested in the way the body utilises rhythmic activation of neuroendocrine response systems such as the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis to provide digital as well as analogue signals to glucocorticoid responsive tissues throughout the body.
In my clinical studies, we are developing novel ways of administrating glucocorticoid replacement to patients with adrenal insufficiency and have been developing systems to assess stress responses in disease and in patients undergoing surgery.