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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Biological Sciences

Graduate Student Directory

Julie Youngblood

Degree Program: Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
Room: CLS 503
Major Professor: Shannon Davis


     The endocrine system is a collection of glands, all of which have functions in vital physiological processes, such as growth and development, stress management, reproduction, and metabolism. The pituitary gland is often called the master gland because of its role in regulating the functions of the other endocrine glands through the secretion of hormones from specialized hormone cell types. Mutations in genes that control pituitary development can result in either single or multiple pituitary hormone deficiencies. Pituitary adenomas cause conditions such as acromegaly and Cushing’s disease through the secretion of an excess of one or more pituitary hormones. Thus, it is necessary to determine the mechanisms of pituitary cell specification in order to understand the ways in which both congenital defects and pituitary adenomas develop and disrupt pituitary function and how we can utilize these mechanisms in the development of new therapeutics. My current research goal is to determine the role of BMP and canonical WNT signaling pathways during cell specification in the developing pituitary gland.


     Northern Arizona University, B.S. Biomedical Science, 2009-2012