- William Colledge
I am Professor of Reproductive Physiology in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge. I obtained my BSc and PhD from Imperial College, University of London. After a post-doctoral position in Canada, I joined the laboratory of the Nobel Laureate Prof Sir Martin Evans in Cambridge. My current research is focussed on understanding the neuroendocrine regulation of mammalian reproduction. The most exciting aspect of my current research has been the identification of key molecules that are absolutely required for the initiation of puberty in mammals. My group identified a G-protein coupled receptor (GPR54) that is a vital regulator of the mammalian reproductive axis. Mutant mice lacking GPR54 have immature reproductive organs and low levels of sex steroids and gonadotrophic hormones, but normal levels of GnRH in the hypothalamus. Pituitary and gonadal responses are intact and the primary physiological defect is lack of GnRH secretion from the hypothalamus. The ligand for GPR54 is encoded by the KISS1 gene and my group has generated a mouse line lacking this gene to study how receptor/ligand interactions regulate mammalian fertility. I am particularly interested in identifying molecules that act upstream or downstream of Kiss1/Gpr54 and how these integrate with peripheral signals to control fertility. We are currently mapping afferent neuronal inputs to Kiss1 neurons using a transgenic mouse in which expression of CRE has been directed specifically to Kiss1 neurons.