B.S. Rutgers University, 1984
Ph.D. University of California at Berkeley. 1989.
Postdoctoral University of Alberta, University of California at Berkeley, National Institutes of Health
Dr. Denver is a developmental neuroendocrinologist. The questions that he addresses in his research include: How do nuclear hormone receptors regulate gene expression in the developing brain? What are the roles of long range chromosomal interactions, enhancer transcription and DNA methylation in nuclear hormone receptor function? How do stress hormones (glucocorticoids) generate epigenetic modifications during early development, leading to long term, stable changes in physiology and behavior (a.k.a., developmental programming)? How can animals modify their development in response to environmental change, and what consequences do these developmental responses (a.k.a., developmental plasticity) have for an individual’s survival and fecundity, and for phenotypic evolution?
In his research he uses several model systems, including Xenopus tadpoles, wild amphibian species, mice and neuronal cell lines. Current focus is on four primary topics: (1) molecular mechanisms of nuclear hormone receptor action in neurons, (2) epigenetic programming of neural gene expression by glucocorticoids during early postembryonic development (molecular basis for developmental plasticity), (3) role of DNA methylation in thyroid hormone action and developmental gene regulation in the central nervous system, and (4) evolution of leptin structure and function, and roles for leptin in postembryonic brain development and the timing of major life history transitions (i.e., metamorphosis, puberty).
Bagamasbad, P., Ziera, T., Borden, S.A., Rozeboom, A.M., Seasholtz, A.F. and Denver, R.J. (2012) Molecular basis for glucocorticoid induction of the Krüppel-like factor 9 gene in hippocampal neurons. Endocrinology 153:5334-5345.
Denver, R.J., Bonett, R.M. and Boorse, G.C. (2011) Structural and functional evolution of leptin. Neuroendocrinology 94:21-38.
Bagamasbad, P. and Denver, R.J. (2011) Mechanisms and significance of nuclear receptor auto- and crossregulation. General and Comparative Endocrinology 170:3-17.
Bonett, R.M., Hoopfer, E.D. and Denver, R.J. (2010) Molecular mechanisms of corticosteroid synergy with thyroid hormone in tadpole metamorphosis. General and Comparative Endocrinology 168:209-219.
Denver, R.J. and Williamson, K.E. (2009) Identification of a thyroid hormone response element in the mouse Krüppel-like factor 9 gene to explain its hormonal regulation during brain development. Endocrinology 150:3935-3943.
Bonett, R.M., Hu, F., Bagamasbad, P. and Denver, R.J. (2009) Stressor and glucocorticoid-dependent induction of the immediate early gene Krüppel-like factor 9: Implications for neural development and plasticity. Endocrinology 150:1757–1765.
Denver, R.J., Hu, F., Scanlan, T.S. and Furlow, J.D. (2009) Thyroid hormone receptor subtype specificity for hormone-dependent neurogenesis in Xenopus laevis. Developmental Biology 326:155-168.
Denver, R.J. (2008). Chordate metamorphosis: Ancient control by iodothyronines. Current Biology 18:R567-R569.
Hu, F., Crespi, E.J. and Denver, R.J. (2008) Programming neuroendocrine stress axis activity by exposure to glucocorticoids during postembryonic development in Xenopus laevis. Endocrinology 149:5470-5481. Cited in Faculty of 1000 Biology, 31 Oct 2008 http://www.f1000biology.com/article/id/1124030/evaluation.
Bagamasbad, P., Howdeshell, K.L., Sachs, L.M., Demeneix, B.A. and Denver, R.J. (2008) A role for basic transcription element binding protein 1 (BTEB1) in the autoinduction of the thyroid hormone receptor beta A gene. Journal of Biological Chemistry 283:2275-2285.
Yao, M., Stenzel-Poore, M. and Denver, R.J. (2007). Structural and functional conservation of vertebrate corticotropin-releasing factor genes: evidence for a critical role for a conserved cyclic AMP response element. Endocrinology 148:2518-2531.
Crespi, E.J. and Denver, R.J. (2006) Leptin (ob gene) of the South African clawed frog Xenopus laevis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 103:10092-10097. Article featured in NSF Discoveries.
Boorse, G.C., Kholdani, C.A., Seasholtz, A.F. and Denver, R.J. (2006). Corticotropin-releasing factor is cytoprotective in Xenopus tadpole tail: Integration of ligand, receptor and binding protein in tail muscle cell survival. Endocrinology 147:1498-1507.