The Stuart A. Wallace Chair, Department of Pathology
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Department of Molecular and Human Genetics
Co-Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program
Transgenic models to study reproduction, oncogenesis and development
Dr. Matzuk received the award for his contribution towards understanding the roles of inhibins and activins in mammalian reproduction and development. His studies demonstrated a tumor suppressor role of inhibins, a possible role of activins in human cancer cachexia syndromes, a critical role of activins and follistatin in craniofacial development, and lastly, that activin II deficiency leads to reproductive defects.
Dr. Matzuk’s nomination was based on the following publications:
Matzuk MM, Kumar TR, Vassalli A, Bickenbach JR, Roop DR, Jaenisch R, Bradley A. Functional analysis of activins during mammalian development. Nature. 1995 Mar 23;374(6520):354-6.
Matzuk MM, Kumar TR, Bradley A. Different phenotypes for mice deficient in either activins or activin receptor type II. Nature. 1995 Mar 23;374(6520):356-60.
Matzuk MM, Lu N, Vogel H, Sellhever K, Roop DR, Bradley A. Multiple defects and perinatal death in mice deficient in follistatin. Nature. 1995 Mar 23;374(6520):360-3.
Dr. Matzuk was nominated for his extraordinary contributions to reproductive medicine. He and his lab have been productive leaders in the identification and characterization of TGFbeta family members (e.g., inhibins, activins, growth differentiation factors, and BMPs), hormones (e.g., follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, estrogens, and androgens), and small RNAs in ovarian and testicular cancer and reproduction.
The research for which Dr. Matzuk was nominated to the Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., Excellence in Research Award represented a pharmacologic approach to a longstanding challenge in medicine with regard to male contraception. Treatment of mice with JQ1 induced a reversible germ cell-specific contraceptive effect on mice, the first such lead compound to demonstrate such an effect:
Matzuk MM, McKeown MR, Filippakopoulos P, Li Q, Ma L, Agno JE, Lemieux ME, Picaud S, Yu RN, Qi J, Knapp S, and Bradner JE. Small-molecule inhibition of BRDT for male contraception. Cell 150, 673-84 (2012)