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William M. Wood, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Medicine


Dr. Wood received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Following post-doctoral studies at the Universities of Illinois and Pittsburgh, he joined the faculty of the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 1985. He is now an Associate Professor and, in 1996, received the Ph.D. Research and Teaching Award from the Department of Medicine. Dr. Wood's research interests lie in the area of pituitary gene expression and regulation and thyroid cancer. He has worked on the molecular determinants governing thyrotrope expression and thyroid hormone (TH) regulation of the thyrotropin subunit genes. He has also been defining the role of an upstream regulatory region in the pituitary cell type dependent activation and repression of the alpha subunit gene. In related studies he has been investigating the regulation of pituitary cell growth by TH. These studies have led to the cloning and characterization of the promoter region of the pituitary-specific beta-2 isoform of the TH receptors (TRs). Other research endeavors involve the role of somatostatin receptor (sst) subtypes, specifically sst 5 and 1, in thyrotrope growth arrest by TH and the interface of TRs via sst5 with the cell cycle apparatus. More recently he has been examining the association of peroxisome prolilerator-activated receptor gamma (PPARg) with more aggressive thyroid cancer and has shown that its depletion slows the growth of thyroid tumors in an orthotopic mouse model of thyroid cancer.

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  • Regulation of pituitary gene expression.
  • Control of thyrotrope cell growth by thyroid hormone.
  • Role of nuclear receptors and their downstream targets in thyroid cancer.

Selected Publications:

  1. PPARg Promotes Growth and Invasion of Thyroid Cancer Cells.
    Wood WM, Sharma V, Bauerle KT, Pike LA, Zhou Q, Fretwell DL, Schweppe RE, Haugen BR.
    PPAR Res. 2011;2011:171765. Epub 2011 Dec 12.
  2. A Rexinoid Antagonist Increases TSHβ mRNA in Thyrotrope Cells and Increases the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Thyroid Set Point in Mice.
    Janssen JS, Sharma V, Pugazhenthi U, Sladek C, Wood WM, Haugen BR.
    Mol. Cell. Endocrinol. 2011;339:1-6.
  3. Basic science and clinical research advances in the pituitary transcription factors: Pit-1 and Prop-1.
    Kerr J, Wood WM, Ridgway EC.
    Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2008;Aug;15(4):359-63.
  4. The proliferative status of thyrotropes is dependent on modulation of specific cell cycle regulators by thyroid hormone.
    Woodmansee WW, Kerr JM, Tucker EA, Mitchell JR, Haakinson DJ, Gordon DF, Ridgway EC, Wood WM.
    Endocrinology, 2006;147:272-282.
  5. GCUNC-45 is a novel regulator for the progesterone receptor/HSP90 chaperoning pathway.
    Chadli A, Graham JD, Abel MG, Jackson TA, Gordon DF, Wood WM, Felts SJ, Horwitz KB, Toft D.
    Mol. Cell. Biol., 2006;26:1722-1730.
  6. Pituitary specific GATA2 knockout: Effects on gonadotrope and thyrotrope function.
    Charles MA, Saunders TL, Wood WM, Owens K, Camper SA, Ridgway EC, Gordon DF.
    Mol. Endocrinol., 2006;20:1366-1377.
  7. Growth arrest of thyrotropic tumors by thyroid hormone is correlated with novel changes in Wnt 10a.
    Kerr JM, Gordon DF, Woodmansee WW, Sarapura, VD, Ridgway EC, Wood WM.
    Mol Cell Endocrinol, 2005;238:57-67.
  8. Early gene expression changes preceding thyroid hormone induced involution of a thyrotrope tumor.
    Wood WM, Sarapura VD, Dowding JM, Woodmansee WW, Haakinson DJ, Gordon DF, Ridgway EC.
    Endocrinology, 2002;143:347-359.
  9. An upstream regulator of the glycoprotein hormone alpha-subunit gene mediates pituitary cell type activation and repression by different mechanisms.
    Wood WM, Dowding JM, Gordon DF, Ridgway EC.
    J. Biol. Chem. 1999;274:15526-15532.
  10. Thyroid hormone receptor beta 2 promoter activity in pituitary cells is regulated by Pit-1.
    Wood WM, Dowding JM, Bright TM, McDermott MT, Haugen BR, Gordon DF, Ridgway EC.
    J. Biol. Chem., 1996;271:24213-24220.

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Graduate Schools
Ph.D., Biochemistry, University of Glasgow, Scotland (l971-74)

Undergraduate School
B.S., Pure Science (Hons.Biochemistry), University of Glasgow, Scotland (1967-71)