weigentProfessor of Cell, Developmntal, & Integrative Biology

Address: McCallum Building, 894
Birmingham, AL 35294-0005
Telephone: (205) 934-4227
Email: weigent@uab.edu







Ph.D. (Microbiology & Immunology), University of Washington
Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Minnesota
Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston

Research Interests

The primary aim of my research program in immunoendocrinology is to establish the biological significance of growth hormone (GH) and growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) production in the immune system. The major objectives of the present research are the following: (1) to determine the factors governing the production of lymphocyte GH and GHRH by studying the activity of luciferase reporter gene constructs in lymphocytes; (2) to determine the differences or similarities in the GH and GHRH mRNA in lymphocytes versus pituitary cells; (3) to identify the GH and GHRH producer cells; (4) to determine the autocrine /paracrine effects of lymphocyte GH and GHRH on cytokine synthesis, antibody synthesis and apoptosis in the immune system; (5) to determine whether lymphocytes have a GHRH receptor; and (6) to determine whether GH and GHRH are produced during invasion of the host by viruses , bacteria, or tumors, and whether this same substance can restore deficiencies in immune deficient animals. The results of these studies will increase our understanding of immunophysiology and establish the role of GH and GHRH in the commonality between the neuroendocrine and immune system.