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Dr. J. David Puett

Regents Professor and Head
Phone: 706-542-1676
Lab: 706-542-1724 or 706-542-1718
Fax: 706-542-0182
Download CV (PDF Form, 245 kb)

Biography Synopsis
After receiving B.S. and M.S. degrees in physics, my Ph.D. degree was awarded in biochemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before assuming my current position in 1993 as Professor and Head of the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at the University of Georgia, with an appointment as Regents Professor in 2001, I was a faculty member at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN for 14 years: Assistant to Associate and then full Professor of Biochemistry. I also served as Program Director of the NIH-funded Reproductive Biology Training Program and Associate Director of the NIH-funded Population Center. While at Vanderbilt University, I held a Research Career Development Award from NIH and a Teacher-Scholar Award from the Dreyfus Foundation. I was then on the faculty at the University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL for 10 years as Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Medicine, and Obstetrics & Gynecology. I also served as Director of the Reproductive Sciences and Endocrinology Laboratories, Director of the NIH-funded Reproductive Endocrinology Training Program, and Program Leader of the Endocrine Cancer Section of the NIH-supported Comprehensive Cancer Center. I have been a member of several Editorial Boards, including The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Endocrinology, and the Journal of Andrology and currently serve on three Editorial Boards, Endocrine, Endocrine Reviews, and Molecular Endocrinology. I have served on two NIH Study Sections (Reproductive Biology and Biochemical Endocrinology), most recently as Chairperson of BCE, and on the American Cancer Society Tumor Biochemistry & Endocrinology Review Panel. Having a great interest in international research and education, I have served as a consultant to the World Health Organization and the United Nations Fund for Population Activities. These and other appointments are enumerated more fully in my CV.

Although I have worked on many projects throughout my career in biochemistry, with emphasis on biochemical endocrinology, physical biochemistry, molecular & cell biology, and tumor biology, my major focus and research support have been in the area of gonadotropins and their cognate receptors. My current NIH grant (DK33973), approved through 2008, was initially awarded in 1972 when I was an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at Vanderbilt University and has been continuously funded since that time. This major interest has enabled my research group to expand into other programs involving glycobiology of hyperglycosylated hCG, natural products, and more recently, human embryonic stem cell markers.

While maintaining a major administrative and teaching role in the department and university, I have a firm commitment to my research program, that is supported in the laboratory by outstanding colleagues and students. We are currently using techniques in molecular biology such as site-directed mutagenesis and protein engineering to study structure-function relationships of hCG and LHR, as well as the other glycoprotein hormones and glycoprotein hormone receptors; cell biology to elucidate signaling pathways; transgenic animals to investigate the consequences of chronic receptor activation in vivo; glycobiology to characterize the carbohydrate moieties of hCG expressed by cytotrophoblasts, syncytiotrophoblasts, transformed cells, and human embryonic stem cells undergoing differentiation; and biophysics to determine structures of hormone-receptor complexes. I have also co-founded a company, Oncose, Inc., and serve as Vice President for Research. The company is developing a novel technology platform for the early detection of cancer based on measurement of aberrant glycosylation of circulating tumor markers. More detailed information is available in the research descriptions of others in the laboratory and in my bibliography (See CV).

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