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Johnson Cancer Research Center

Dr. Fernando Pierucci-Alves

Department: Anatomy & Physiology
falves@vet.k-state.edu
Departmental Website, University of Kansas Institute for Reproductive Health & Regenerative Medicine

“The prostate is an accessory gland of the male reproductive tract lined by epithelial cells that are responsive to the hormone testosterone. This hormone and other hormone-like factors such as transforming growth factor-beta (TGFβ) have been shown to induce or participate in the development and progression of prostate cancers. Our research efforts demonstrated recently that epithelial cells from a segment of the male tract – the vas deferens – which is in close proximity to the prostate, also responds to testosterone and TGFβ. Interestingly, cancers do not develop in the vas deferens. Ongoing studies in my laboratory, which aim at understanding the role of TGFβ signaling in male fertility, will elucidate physiological mechanisms that, when disrupted, lead to diseases of the male reproductive system.”