Department of Reproductive Medicine

Mark Lawson

Mark Lawson, PhD
Associate Professor of Reproductive Medicine

(858) 822-4128
(858) 534-1438
Administrative Assistant:
Ruth Montouri (858) 534-1140
Visit our site at: The Lawson Lab

Division of Reproductive Endocrinology

PhD in Biological Sciences,

University of California, Irvine, 1991


Hormone Action, Biostatistics

Service (Current activities only)

Regional Liaison, National Academy of Science/Ford Foundation

Admissions Chair, Initiative to Maximize Student Diversity (IMSD)

Minority Access Program Ad-hoc committee, The Endocrine Society 2008-2009

Development Committee, The Endocrine Society, 2007-2009

University of California President's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, Reviewer

Training Grant Faculty, Training in Reproductive Sciences (NIH T32 HD07203, P.I. Pamela Mellon, Ph.D., Co-PI, Jeffery Chang, M.D.).

Training Grant Faculty, Steering Committee, Training in Genetics. (NIH T32 GM0866, P.I. Bruce Hamilton, Ph.D.)

General Area of Interest

Mechanisms of Reproductive Hormone Action and Regulation of Gene Expression 

We are investigating the molecular mechanisms of hormone action in the pituitary, with a special emphasis on factors controlling reproductive function. Current studies are focused on understanding the role of hormone action in regulating translation initiation and mRNA utilization. We are also interested in the mechanism of endocrine diseases affecting reproduction such as polycystic ovary syndrome and type II diabetes. Our long-term interest is in understanding the integration of multiple hormone signaling pathways in the regulation of endocrine cell function.

Recent Publications

Do, M. T., S. Santos, and M. A. Lawson. (2009). “GnRH induces the unfolded protein response in the LbT2 pituitary gonadotrope cell line”. Molecular Endocrinology, 23(1): 100-112.

Feng, J., M. A. Lawson, P. Melamed. (2008). “A proteomic comparison of immature and mature gonadotropes reveals novel differentially expressed nuclear proteins that regulate gonadotropin gene transcription and RNA splicing”. Biology of Reproduction 79: 546–561.

Lawson, M.A. ,S. Jain, S. Sun, K. Patel, P. J. Malcolm, R. J. Chang. (2008). “Evidence for insulin suppression of baseline luteinizing hormone in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome and normal women”. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism, 93(6): 2089-2096.

Lawson, M. A., R. Tsutsumi, H. Zhang, I. Talukadar, B. K. Butler, S. J. Santos, P. M. Mellon, and N. J. G. Webster. (2007). "Pulse sensitivity of the LHβ promoter is determined by a negative feedback loop involving Egr1 and Nab 1/2. Molecular Endocrinology, 21(5): 1175-1191.

Zhang, H., J. S. Bailey, D. Coss, B. Lin, R. Tsutsumi, M. A. Lawson, P. L. Mellon and N. J. Webster. (2006). "Activin modulates the transcriptional response of LβT2 cells to GnRH and alters cellular proliferation." Molecular Endocrinology, 20(11): 2909-2930

Nguyen, K. A., S. J. Santos, M. K. Kreidel, A. L. Diaz, R. Rey and M. A. Lawson. (2004). "Acute regulation of translation initiation by gonadotropin-releasing hormone in the gonadotrope cell line LβT2." Molecular Endocrinology,18(5): 1301-1312.

Patel, K., M. S. Coffler, M. H. Dahan, R. Y. Yoo, M. A. Lawson, P. J. Malcom and R. J. Chang. (2003). "Increased luteinizing hormone secretion in women with polycystic ovary syndrome is unaltered by prolonged insulin infusion." Journal of Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism, 88(11): 5456-5461.

Vasilyev, V. V., M. A. Lawson, D. DiPaolo, N. J. G. Webster and P. L. Mellon. (2002). "Different signaling pathways control acute induction versus long-term repression of LHβ transcription by GnRH." Endocrinology, 143(9): 3414-1426.

Liu, S., K. M. Ogilvie, K. Klausing, M. A. Lawson, D. Jolley, D. Li, J. Bilakovics, B. Pascual, N. Hein, M. Urcan and M. D. Leibowitz. (2002). "Mechanism of selective retinoid X receptor agonist-induced hypothyroidism in the rat." Endocrinology, 143(8): 2880-5.

Lawson, M. A. and P. L. Mellon. (2001). GnRH gene expression: lessons learned from immortalized cells. In: Neuroplasticity, development, and steroid hormone action. R.J. Handa (ed.). CRC Press, Boca Raton, LA. 141-151

Lawson, M. A., L. A. MacConell, J. Kim, B. T. Powl, S. B. Nelson and P. L. Mellon. (2002). "Neuron-specific expression In vivo by defined transcription regulatory elements of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone gene." Endocrinology, 143 (4): 1404-1412.

Lawson, M. A., D. Li, C. A. Glidewell-Kenney and F. J. Lopez. (2001). "Androgen responsiveness of the pituitary gonadotrope cell line LbetaT2." Journal of Endocrinology, 170(3): 601-607.

Sosnowski, R., P. L. Mellon and M. A. Lawson. (2000). "Activation of translation in pituitary gonadotrope cells by gonadotropin-releasing hormone." Molecular Endocrinology, 14(11): 1811-1819.

Lopez, F.J., P. D. Finn, M.A. Lawson, and A Negro-Vilar. (2000). Regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis: role of gonadal steroids and implications for the menopause In: Menopause. R. Lobo, R. Marcus, and J Kelsey. (eds.). Academic Press, San Diego. Academic Press, San Diego. 33-60.

Nelson, S. B., M. A. Lawson, C. G. Kelley and P. L. Mellon. (2000). "Neuron-specific expression of the rat gonadotropin-releasing hormone gene is conferred by interactions of a defined promoter element with the enhancer in GT1-7 cells." Molecular Endocrinology,14(9): 1509-1522.

Navratil, A. M., H. Song, J. B. Hernandez, B. D. Cherrington, S. J. Santos, J. M. Low, .T. Do, M. A. Lawson. (2009). “Insulin augments gonadotropin-releasing hormone induction of translation in LβT2 cells.” Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 311(1): 47-54.

Otani, H., F. Otsuka, M. Takeda, T. Mukai, T. Terasaka, T. Miyoshi, K. Inagaki, J. Suzuki, T. Ogura, M.A. Lawson, and H. Makino. (2009). “Regulation of GNRH production by estrogen and bone morphogenetic proteins in GT1-7 hypothalamic cells.” Journal of Endocrinology, 203(1): 87-97.

Park , A. S., M. A. Lawson, S. S. Chuan, S. E. Oberfield, K. M. Hoeger, S. F. Witchel, and R. J. Chang. (2010). “Serum anti-mullerian hormone concentrations are elevated in oligomenorrheic girls without evidence of hyperandrogenism.” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism, 95(4): 1786-1792.
*highlighted in the March 2010 issue of Endocrine News

Nguyen, K. A., R. E. Intriago, H. C. Upadhyay, S. J. Santos, N. J. G. Webster, and M. A. Lawson (2010). “Modulation of GnRH-induced ERK activation by Dual Specificity Protein Phosphatase 1 in LβT2 gonadotropes.” Endocrinology, 151(10): 4882-4893.



Laboratory Personnel:


De’Nise T. McKee, Ph.D.

Tae-Shin Kim, Ph.D.

Hiral Upadhyay, M.D.

Steven A. Cardenas

Candy De Loera

Greg Kearney

Andy (Dong Hyun) Lim

Amanda Ta



Minh-Ha T. Do, Ph.D. –aTyr Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Jenny Duenas, B.S. -University of Guam
Sharon J. Santos Razon, B.S. -Prexera Inc.
Amy M. Navratil, Ph.D. -Cornell University
Kathryn, A. Nguyen, Ph.D. -Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, UCSD
Janine M. Low, B.S. - Dept. of Pharmacology, UCSD
Jeniffer B. Hernandez, B.S. -University of California, Irvine
Byeong Jun Jung, M.D. –Seoul Women’s Hospital, Seoul, RSK
Heedong Chae, MD. Ph.D. -Associate Professor, Ulsan University Medical School, Ulsan, RSK
Hyunjin Song, M.D., Ph.D. -President, Seoul Women’s Hospital, Seoul, RSK
Alejandro Diaz, B.S. -School of Medicine, UCSD
Rodolfo Rey, M.D. -School of Medicine, UCSD
Marit K. Kreidel B.S.-New York Medical College
Blanca Ruvalcaba, B.S. –Neurocrine Pharmaceuticals
Angelica Riestra, B.S. –University of California, Los Angeles
Briana Alvarez, B.S. –University of San Diego
Sally Barth Hall, B.S. –Lawrence Livermore Laboratory

Emily Rickert, Ph.D. – School of Medicine, UCSD