Faculty Profile: Luderer, Ulrike

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Faculty Information Lab Information (Packet Type, Course Title, & Department) Location
Luderer, Ulrike
Lab Contact:
Ulrike Luderer
(949) 824-3389
Department: SOM - Department of Medicine
Office location: 100 Theory Drive, Suite 100. Lab location: Med Surge 2

Research Description

Research in my laboratory centers on the mechanisms by which chemical toxicants damage the ovary, potentially causing infertility and ovarian cancer, and in understanding differences in ovarian susceptibility to toxicants. We are particularly interested in oxidative stress as a mechanism of ovarian injury and in the modulation of susceptibility to ovarian injury by biotransformation enzymes and antioxidants. Work in my laboratory has demonstrated roles for oxidative stress in spontaneous and toxicant-induced apoptosis in granulosa cells of ovarian follicles.
Many known ovarian toxicants are conjugated by the tripeptide glutathione (GSH), and GSH is also a critical detoxification mechanism for reactive oxygen species. Using cultured ovarian follicles and granulosa cells, we showed that increased generation of reactive oxygen species is an early event in the induction of apoptosis by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, by the anticancer drug cyclophosphamide, and by ionizing radiation, that depletion of GSH sensitizes to these agents, and that GSH supplementation is protective. Recently, we showed that female mice genetically deficient in GSH synthesis have poor oocyte quality, with small litters due to preimplantation embryonic mortality. Moreover, females deficient in GSH synthesis have increased sensitivity to premature ovarian failure and ovarian tumors caused by prenatal exposure to the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon benzo[a]pyrene. Ongoing studies are using genetically modified mouse models with specific deficits in GSH synthesis to understand the roles these play in ovarian susceptibility to toxicant-induced ovarian damage, ovarian aging, and ovarian cancer.

Requirements to Participate

Motivation, enthusiasm. Sophomore or Junior, 3.3 GPA, minimum commitment of 2 academic years, 12-16 hours per week minimum, willing to work some weekends, willing to work with mice, attend weekly lab meetings and present research in lab meetings.

Time Commitment per Week

12-16 hours; Required 3 to 4 units

Faculty Means of Evaluation

Presentations in lab meetings, understanding of topic, reliability, effort put into work.