Andy V. Babwah

Associate Professor

PH.D. McGill University
M.Sc. Illinois State University
Office: Victoria Research Labs, Room A4-140
Phone: (519) 685-8500 Ext. 55485
Fax: (519) 685-8616
E-mail: ababwah@uwo.ca
Visit: Dr. Babwah's Childern's Health Research Webpage
See Publications by Andy Babwah on PubMed

Affiliations

-Associate Professor, Departments of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Physiology & Pharmacology, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Western Ontario
-Scientist, Division of Maternal, Fetal & Newborn Health, Children’s Health Research Institute
-Manager, Confocal Imaging Facility, Victoria Research Laboratories

How my research helps children

Our work is focused on understanding how a region of the brain called the hypothalamus, through the actions of a major hormone called the gonadotropin releasing-hormone (GnRH), regulates the timely onset of puberty or the attainment of fertility.

Normal puberty begins between ages 8 and 14 in girls and between 9 and 14 in boys. Puberty, however, for some children comes much sooner, much later, or in many cases, never occurs and thereby contributes to the estimated 35-70 million infertile couples worldwide. 

GnRH is the master regulator of the reproductive axis. Absent or diminished GnRH secretion leads to a condition referred to as hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (HH). HH can be manifested during late fetal development and throughout post-natal life. Early manifestation of HH leads to the failure of a child to undergo puberty and secondary sexual development. This condition impacts negatively on the quality of a child’s life in both early and late teenage life and is linked to increased depression, promiscuous sexual behavior, increased targets of sexual predation, drug-abuse and increased suicidal tendencies amongst teen-agers. 

By understanding the molecular basis of GnRH secretion, novel therapies can be developed to treat the condition of HH and thereby ensure that children undergo puberty and normal sexual development and hence enjoy a great quality of life.

Research

Current Research ActivitiesWe have recently developed several mouse models to study GnRH secretion. These models will allow us to conduct an array of in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro studies to test various hypotheses we have developed. These studies are underway.

Research Team

Dr. Andy Babwah received his doctoral training at McGill University (Montreal, Quebec) and fellowship training at the Robarts Research Institute (London, Ontario). 

Dr. Macarena Pampillo received her doctoral training at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina and fellowship training at the Robarts Research Institute (London, Ontario). 

Maryse Ahow is currently a PhD candidate in Physiology at the University of Western Ontario.

Past Team Members: Jacob Szereszewski (MSc, Pharmacology), Jay Taylor (MSc, Pharmacology), Dr. Neerja Sharma (MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology), Michelle Re (MSc, Physiology), Craig Cavanagh (MSc, Physiology), Natasha Camuso (MSc, Physiology), Timothy Li (MSc, Physiology), Adel Aziziyeh (MSc, Pharmacology), Miranda Nolet (BSc), Melissa Polonenko (BSc), Rachel Gow (BSc), Fakhry Kaoukdji (BSc), Cassandra Greenberg (BSc), Stephanie Bester, Joshua Cadman.

Future Research Plans

Dr. Babwah is looking forward to recruiting new trainees to his lab. Anyone with an interest in human physiology, particularly, reproductive endocrinology should contact him.

Awards and Grants

Dr. Babwah’s research is generously supported by funds from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Ministry of Research Innovation.

Dr. Babwah was also the recipient of a New Investigator Award (Canadian Institutes of Health Research in partnership with the Ontario Women’s Health Council), an Early Researcher Award (Ministry of Research Innovation) and a US Government Fulbright Fellowship.

Publications

GPR54 (KISS1R) Transactivates EGFR to Promote Breast Cancer Cell Invasiveness. Zajac M, Law J, Cvetkovic DD, Pampillo M, McColl L, Pape C, Di Guglielmo GM, Postovit LM, Babwah AV, Bhattacharya M. PloS ONE. 2011 6(6): e21599

Assessment of constitutive activity and internalization of GPR54 (KISS1-R).Pampillo M and Babwah AV. Methods in Enzymology. 2010 484:75-93

GPR54 regulates ERK1/2 activity and hypothalamic gene expression in a G{alpha}q/11 and {beta}-arrestin-dependent manner. Szereszewski JM, Pampillo M, Ahow M, Offermanns S, Bhattacharya M, Babwah AV. PLoS ONE. 2010 5(9): e12964

The Human Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone Type I Receptor Is a Functional Intracellular GPCR Expressed on the Nuclear Membrane. Re M, Pampillo M, Savard M, Dubuc C, McArdle CA, Millar RP, Conn PM, Gobeil F, Bhattacharya M, Babwah AV. PloS ONE. 2010 5(7): e11489

Molecular Regulation of GPR54 signaling by GRK2 and {beta}-arrestins. Pampillo M, Camuso N, Taylor JE, Szereszewski JM, Ahow M, Zajac M, Millar RP, Bhattacharya M, Babwah AV. Mol Endocrinol. 2009 Dec;23(13):2060-74.

Calcineurin inhibitor protein (CAIN) attenuates Group I metabotropic glutamate receptor endocytosis and signaling. Ferreira LT, Dale LB, Babwah AV, Ferguson SSG (2009). J Biol Chem. 2009 Oct 16;284(42):28986-94

GnRH-Regulated Chemokine Expression in the Human Placenta. Cavanagh PC, Dunk C, Pampillo M, Szereszewski JM, Taylor JE, Kahiri C, Han V, Lye S, Bhattacharya M, Babwah AV. American Journal of Physiology Cell Physiology 297:C17-27. (2009). 


Additional Publications




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