Our research focuses on the role played by sex steroids called androgens in human health and disease.
Androgen excess in women is predominantly associated with a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which affects up to 10% of all women. PCOS is associated with metabolic diseases such as diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Our group examines the impact of androgen excess in women with PCOS on energy metabolism in important tissues, such as muscle.
Androgens and cancer
The association between endocrine cancers and diet and lifestyle means that they are becoming increasingly common. By modelling endocrine therapy resistance we can explore the impact of tumour derived steroids on cell metabolism, senescence and invasiveness.
Dr McIlroy’s group are utilizing 3D bioprinting technology to generate hydrogel encapsulated cell-line and patient-derived tumours with a view to developing this as a high-content screening strategy to evaluate therapeutic response
Androgen deficiency in men (or hypogonadism) is also associated with significant health consequences, including a risk of type 2 diabetes, weight gain and metabolic disease. Our group is currently researching the role played by androgens in men’s health by examining the metabolic consequences of testosterone deficiency due to conditions such as testicular failure, pituitary tumours and medication-induced hypogonadism.