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Varykina Thackray

Title(s)Associate Professor In Residence, Reproductive Medicine
SchoolHealth Sciences
Phone858-822-7693
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    Middlebury College, Middlebury, VTB.A.1991Biology
    University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, COPh.D.2002Molecular Biology
    UC San Diego, San Diego, CAPost-doc2008Reproductive Endocrinology
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    2009Women in Endocrinology Young Investigator Award
    2012Endocrine Society Early Investigators Award
    2017Association for Women in Science San Diego Achievement in Outreach or Community Service Award
    2018Association for Women in Science San Diego Leadership Service Award

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder in women, with a prevalence of 10-15%. In addition to a reproductive phenotype that results in an increased risk of infertility, miscarriage and pregnancy complications, a majority of women with PCOS have metabolic abnormalities that result in an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, hypertension, and NAFLD. The main objective of our research is to understand the etiology and pathophysiology of PCOS including the role of the gut microbiome using relevant mouse and tissue culture models.

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    The Role of the Gut Microbiome in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
    NIH/NICHD R01 HD095412Feb 15, 2019 - Jan 31, 2024
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Project I - Role of FSH in Female Infertility
    NIH/NICHD P50HD012303Aug 1, 2016 - Mar 31, 2021
    Role: Co-Investigator
    Transcriptional control of pituitary gonadotropin genes
    NIH/NICHD R01HD067448Aug 23, 2011 - May 31, 2016
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Project I - Integration of Hormone Signaling in the Pituitary Gonadotrope
    NIH/NICHD P50 HD012303Apr 1, 2009 - Mar 31, 2014
    Role: Co-Investigator
    Integration of PR and FoxO Signaling in Pituitary Gonadotropes
    NIH/NIDDK K01DK080467Sep 1, 2008 - Aug 31, 2011
    Role: Principal Investigator
    The Role of Smads and AR in FSHbeta Gene Expression
    NIH/NIDDK F32DK065437Sep 1, 2003 - Aug 31, 2006
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Collapse ORNG Applications 
    Collapse Websites
    Collapse In The News

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. McCosh RB, Kreisman MJ, Tian K, Ho BS, Thackray VG, Breen KM. Insulin-induced hypoglycemia suppresses pulsatile LH secretion and arcuate Kiss1 cell activation in female mice. J Neuroendocrinol. 2019 Nov 23; e12813. PMID: 31758872.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Arroyo P, Ho BS, Sau L, Kelley ST, Thackray VG. Letrozole treatment of pubertal female mice results in activational effects on reproduction, metabolism and the gut microbiome. PLoS One. 2019; 14(9):e0223274. PMID: 31568518.
      View in: PubMed
    3. de la Cuesta-Zuluaga J, Kelley ST, Chen Y, Escobar JS, Mueller NT, Ley RE, McDonald D, Huang S, Swafford AD, Knight R, Thackray VG. Age- and Sex-Dependent Patterns of Gut Microbial Diversity in Human Adults. mSystems. 2019 Jul-Aug; 4(4). PMID: 31098397.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Torres PJ, Ho BS, Arroyo P, Sau L, Chen A, Kelley ST, Thackray VG. Exposure to a Healthy Gut Microbiome Protects Against Reproductive and Metabolic Dysregulation in a PCOS Mouse Model. Endocrinology. 2019 May 01; 160(5):1193-1204. PMID: 30924862.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Torres PJ, Skarra DV, Ho BS, Sau L, Anvar AR, Kelley ST, Thackray VG. Letrozole treatment of adult female mice results in a similar reproductive phenotype but distinct changes in metabolism and the gut microbiome compared to pubertal mice. BMC Microbiol. 2019 03 12; 19(1):57. PMID: 30871463.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Thackray VG. Sex, Microbes, and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2019 01; 30(1):54-65. PMID: 30503354.
      View in: PubMed
    7. McDonald D, Hyde E, Debelius JW, Morton JT, Gonzalez A, Ackermann G, Aksenov AA, Behsaz B, Brennan C, Chen Y, DeRight Goldasich L, Dorrestein PC, Dunn RR, Fahimipour AK, Gaffney J, Gilbert JA, Gogul G, Green JL, Hugenholtz P, Humphrey G, Huttenhower C, Jackson MA, Janssen S, Jeste DV, Jiang L, Kelley ST, Knights D, Kosciolek T, Ladau J, Leach J, Marotz C, Meleshko D, Melnik AV, Metcalf JL, Mohimani H, Montassier E, Navas-Molina J, Nguyen TT, Peddada S, Pevzner P, Pollard KS, Rahnavard G, Robbins-Pianka A, Sangwan N, Shorenstein J, Smarr L, Song SJ, Spector T, Swafford AD, Thackray VG, Thompson LR, Tripathi A, Vázquez-Baeza Y, Vrbanac A, Wischmeyer P, Wolfe E, Zhu Q, Knight R. American Gut: an Open Platform for Citizen Science Microbiome Research. mSystems. 2018 May-Jun; 3(3). PMID: 29795809.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Torres PJ, Siakowska M, Banaszewska B, Pawelczyk L, Duleba AJ, Kelley ST, Thackray VG. Gut Microbial Diversity in Women With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Correlates With Hyperandrogenism. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2018 04 01; 103(4):1502-1511. PMID: 29370410.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Skarra DV, Hernández-Carretero A, Rivera AJ, Anvar AR, Thackray VG. Hyperandrogenemia Induced by Letrozole Treatment of Pubertal Female Mice Results in Hyperinsulinemia Prior to Weight Gain and Insulin Resistance. Endocrinology. 2017 09 01; 158(9):2988-3003. PMID: 28911175.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Kelley ST, Skarra DV, Rivera AJ, Thackray VG. The Gut Microbiome Is Altered in a Letrozole-Induced Mouse Model of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. PLoS One. 2016; 11(1):e0146509. PMID: 26731268.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Kauffman AS, Thackray VG, Ryan GE, Tolson KP, Glidewell-Kenney CA, Semaan SJ, Poling MC, Iwata N, Breen KM, Duleba AJ, Stener-Victorin E, Shimasaki S, Webster NJ, Mellon PL. A Novel Letrozole Model Recapitulates Both the Reproductive and Metabolic Phenotypes of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in Female Mice. Biol Reprod. 2015 Sep; 93(3):69. PMID: 26203175.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Skarra DV, Thackray VG. FOXO1 is regulated by insulin and IGF1 in pituitary gonadotropes. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2015 Apr 15; 405:14-24. PMID: 25676570.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Park CH, Skarra DV, Rivera AJ, Arriola DJ, Thackray VG. Constitutively active FOXO1 diminishes activin induction of Fshb transcription in immortalized gonadotropes. PLoS One. 2014; 9(11):e113839. PMID: 25423188.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Thackray VG. Fox tales: regulation of gonadotropin gene expression by forkhead transcription factors. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2014 Mar 25; 385(1-2):62-70. PMID: 24099863.
      View in: PubMed
    15. Skarra DV, Arriola DJ, Benson CA, Thackray VG. Forkhead box O1 is a repressor of basal and GnRH-induced Fshb transcription in gonadotropes. Mol Endocrinol. 2013 Nov; 27(11):1825-39. PMID: 24065703.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Benson CA, Kurz TL, Thackray VG. A human FSHB promoter SNP associated with low FSH levels in men impairs LHX3 binding and basal FSHB transcription. Endocrinology. 2013 Sep; 154(9):3016-21. PMID: 23766128.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Arriola DJ, Mayo SL, Skarra DV, Benson CA, Thackray VG. FOXO1 transcription factor inhibits luteinizing hormone ß gene expression in pituitary gonadotrope cells. J Biol Chem. 2012 Sep 28; 287(40):33424-35. PMID: 22865884.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Breen KM, Thackray VG, Hsu T, Mak-McCully RA, Coss D, Mellon PL. Stress levels of glucocorticoids inhibit LHß-subunit gene expression in gonadotrope cells. Mol Endocrinol. 2012 Oct; 26(10):1716-31. PMID: 22851703.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Ghochani Y, Saini JK, Mellon PL, Thackray VG. FOXL2 is involved in the synergy between activin and progestins on the follicle-stimulating hormone ß-subunit promoter. Endocrinology. 2012 Apr; 153(4):2023-33. PMID: 22294749.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Coss D, Mellon PL, Thackray VG. A FoxL in the Smad house: activin regulation of FSH. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Sep; 21(9):562-8. PMID: 20598900.
      View in: PubMed
    21. Breen KM, Thackray VG, Coss D, Mellon PL. Runt-related transcription factors impair activin induction of the follicle-stimulating hormone {beta}-subunit gene. Endocrinology. 2010 Jun; 151(6):2669-80. PMID: 20357224.
      View in: PubMed
    22. Thackray VG, Mellon PL, Coss D. Hormones in synergy: regulation of the pituitary gonadotropin genes. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2010 Jan 27; 314(2):192-203. PMID: 19747958.
      View in: PubMed
    23. Thackray VG, Hunnicutt JL, Memon AK, Ghochani Y, Mellon PL. Progesterone Inhibits basal and gonadotropin-releasing hormone induction of luteinizing hormone beta-subunit gene expression. Endocrinology. 2009 May; 150(5):2395-403. PMID: 19106225.
      View in: PubMed
    24. Sasson R, Luu SH, Thackray VG, Mellon PL. Glucocorticoids induce human glycoprotein hormone alpha-subunit gene expression in the gonadotrope. Endocrinology. 2008 Jul; 149(7):3643-55. PMID: 18403486.
      View in: PubMed
    25. Thackray VG, Mellon PL. Synergistic induction of follicle-stimulating hormone beta-subunit gene expression by gonadal steroid hormone receptors and Smad proteins. Endocrinology. 2008 Mar; 149(3):1091-102. PMID: 18079204.
      View in: PubMed
    26. McGillivray SM, Thackray VG, Coss D, Mellon PL. Activin and glucocorticoids synergistically activate follicle-stimulating hormone beta-subunit gene expression in the immortalized LbetaT2 gonadotrope cell line. Endocrinology. 2007 Feb; 148(2):762-73. PMID: 17082263.
      View in: PubMed
    27. Thackray VG, McGillivray SM, Mellon PL. Androgens, progestins, and glucocorticoids induce follicle-stimulating hormone beta-subunit gene expression at the level of the gonadotrope. Mol Endocrinol. 2006 Sep; 20(9):2062-79. PMID: 16675544.
      View in: PubMed
    28. Coss D, Thackray VG, Deng CX, Mellon PL. Activin regulates luteinizing hormone beta-subunit gene expression through Smad-binding and homeobox elements. Mol Endocrinol. 2005 Oct; 19(10):2610-23. PMID: 15961509.
      View in: PubMed
    29. Spady TJ, Shayya R, Thackray VG, Ehrensberger L, Bailey JS, Mellon PL. Androgen regulates follicle-stimulating hormone beta gene expression in an activin-dependent manner in immortalized gonadotropes. Mol Endocrinol. 2004 Apr; 18(4):925-40. PMID: 14701939.
      View in: PubMed
    30. Thackray VG, Toft DO, Nordeen SK. Novel activation step required for transcriptional competence of progesterone receptor on chromatin templates. Mol Endocrinol. 2003 Dec; 17(12):2543-53. PMID: 14551264.
      View in: PubMed
    31. Thackray VG, Nordeen SK. High-yield purification of functional, full-length steroid receptor coactivator 1 expressed in insect cells. Biotechniques. 2002 Feb; 32(2):260, 262-3. PMID: 11848398.
      View in: PubMed
    32. Wan Y, Coxe KK, Thackray VG, Housley PR, Nordeen SK. Separable features of the ligand-binding domain determine the differential subcellular localization and ligand-binding specificity of glucocorticoid receptor and progesterone receptor. Mol Endocrinol. 2001 Jan; 15(1):17-31. PMID: 11145736.
      View in: PubMed
    33. Thackray VG, Young RH, Hooper JE, Nordeen SK. Estrogen agonist and antagonist action on the human estrogen receptor in Drosophila. Endocrinology. 2000 Oct; 141(10):3912-5. PMID: 11014249.
      View in: PubMed
    34. Kelley ST, Thackray VG. Phylogenetic analyses reveal ancient duplication of estrogen receptor isoforms. J Mol Evol. 1999 Nov; 49(5):609-14. PMID: 10552042.
      View in: PubMed
    35. Thackray VG, Lieberman BA, Nordeen SK. Differential gene induction by glucocorticoid and progesterone receptors. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 1998 Aug; 66(4):171-8. PMID: 9744514.
      View in: PubMed