Andy Babwah

Maternal, Fetal & Newborn Health Dr. Andy Babwah
Scientist
Photo

Affiliations

Scientist, Division of Maternal, Fetal & Newborn Health, Children’s Health Research Institute
Associate Professor, Departments of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Physiology & Pharmacology, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University

Research

Current Research Activities

Thirty-five to seventy million couples worldwide are infertile and for that reason the overall goal of my research is to better understand the molecular basis of infertility. To achieve my overall goal, my research program is specifically focused on understanding how the hypothalamus and uterus regulate fertility through the actions of centrally- and peripherally-derived molecules called kisspeptins. Kisspeptins are a family of peptides derived from a primary product called KISS1 and are best known as potent central triggers of gonadotropin-releasing hormone secretion from the hypothalamus. Accordingly, kisspeptins act as major regulators of the neuroendocrine-reproductive axis and mutations in KISS1 or its cognate receptor, KISS1R, result in infertility in both mice and humans. Kisspeptins are also expressed peripherally and research in my laboratory has led to the discovery that peripherally-derived kisspeptins also significantly regulate reproduction by regulating uterine development and function. Our findings are based on studies conducted on genetically modified mice and tissue biopsies from human patients diagnosed with infertility.

Teaching

Dr. Babwah is the Course Manager and an Instructor for Physiology 4620A (Endocrine and Reproductive Physiology). He delivers 16 lecture hours on the Regulation of the Neuroendocrine-Reproductive Axis and Early Pregnancy Events. He is the recipient of the University Students' Council Teaching Honor Roll Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2008/2009; 2010/2011; 2011/2012; 2014/2015). Dr. Babwah also participates in the Resident Training Program in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology where he delivers lectures on the Mechanism of Drug Action (with an emphasis on drugs used in treating human reproductive disorders) and human placentation.

Awards & Grants

Awards & Grants

Dr. Babwah's research has been supported by funds from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Ministry of Research Innovation.

Dr. Babwah was also the recipient of a New Investigator Award (Canadian Institutes of Health Research in partnership with the Ontario Women's Health Council), an Early Research Award (Ministry of Research Innovation) and a US Government Fulbright Fellowship..

Recent Publications

Publications

Babwah AV, Navarro VM, Ahow M, Pampillo M, Nash C, Fayazi M, Calder M, Urbanski HF, Wettschureck N, Offermanns S, Carroll RS, Bhattacharya M, Tobet SA, Kaiser UB (2015). GnRH neuron-specific ablation of Gαq/11 results in only partial inactivation of the neuroendocrine-reproductive axis in both male and female mice: in vivo evidence for Kiss1r-coupled Gαq/11-independent GnRH secretion. The Journal of Neuroscience 35:12903–12916.

Babwah AV (2015). Uterine and placental KISS1 regulate pregnancy: what we know and the challenges that lie ahead. Reproduction 150:R121-128.

Millar RP, Babwah AV (corresponding author) (2015) KISS1R: Hallmarks of an effective regulator of the neuroendocrine axis (At the Cutting Edge). Neuroendocrinology 101: 193-210.

Bhattacharya M, Babwah AV (corresponding author) (2015) Kisspeptin: Beyond the brain. Endocrinology 156:1218-27.

Ahow M, Min L, Pampillo M, Nash C, Wen J, Soltis K, Carroll RS, Glidewell-Kenney C, Mellon PL, Bhattacharya M, Tobet SA, Kaiser UB, Babwah AV (2014)  KISS1R signals independently of Gαq/11 and triggers LH secretion via the β-arrestin pathway in the male mouse. Endocrinology 155:4433-46.

Calder M, Chan YM, Raj R, Pampillo M, Elbert A, Noonan M, Gillio-Meina C, Caligioni C, Berube NG, Bhattacharya M, Watson AJ, Seminara SB, Babwah AV (2014). Implantation failure in female Kiss1-/- mice is independent of their hypogonadic state and can be partially rescued by leukemia inhibitory factor. Endocrinology 155:3065-3078.

Taylor J, Pampillo M, Bhattacharya M, Babwah AV (2014). Kisspeptin/KISS1R signaling potentiates extravillous trophoblast adhesion to type-I collagen in a PKC- and ERK1/2-dependent manner. Molecular Reproduction & Development 81:42–54.

Babwah AV, Pampillo M, Min L, Kaiser UB, Bhattacharya M (2012). Single-cell analyses reveal that KISS1R-expressing cells undergo sustained kisspeptin-induced signaling that is dependent upon an influx of extracellular Ca2+. Endocrinology 153:5875-87.

Pampillo M, Camuso N, Taylor JE, Szereszewski JM, Ahow M, Zajac M, Millar RP, Bhattacharya M, Babwah AV (2009).  Molecular regulation of GPR54 (KISS1R) activity by GRK-2 and β-arrestins. Molecular Endocrinology 13:2060-2074.

Contact

Contact

Phone: (519) 685-8500, x55485
Fax: (519) 685-8186
Email: ababwah [at] uwo [dot] ca
Website: http://www.uwo.ca/physpharm/faculty/babwah_andy.html

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