The research efforts in my laboratory involve investigations regarding the molecular function of ovarian hormones such as estrogen in cancers and tumors (e.g. breast cancer, uterine leiomyoma). Uterine leiomyomas are very common benign tumors that occur in most premenopausal women. These lesions are symptomatic in approximately 25% of affected women and require surgery for treatment. The long-term goal of the research in my laboratory is to identify molecular therapeutic approaches to treat uterine leiomyoma and other ovarian hormone dependent lesions. To this end, we use uterine leiomyoma cells and tissues derived from the Eker rat model of uterine leiomyoma in combination with biochemical and molecular biology techniques to determine the mechanisms of ovarian hormone action in this tumor type. Specifically, my research group is interested in understanding the role of GPR30, a recently identified, non-nuclear estrogen receptor, in the development and growth of uterine leiomyoma. Additionally, research in my laboratory is aimed at determining a potential role of GPR30 in the uterus during pregnancy and parturition (childbirth).