Dr. Y. Peng Loh is the head of the Section on Cellular Neurobiology, Program on Developmental Neuroscience, NICHD. She and her group studies the cell biology of endocrine and neuroendocrine cells, focusing on the mechanisms of biosynthesis and intracellular trafficking of peptide hormones and neuropeptides and their processing enzymes, the regulation of dense-core secretory granule biogenesis, and the physiological roles of the prohormone processing enzyme carboxypeptidase E, and peptides derived from the neuroendocrine protein , chromogranin A. Her studies have elucidated molecular mechanisms governing protein trafficking to the regulated secretory pathway and identified players and mechanisms that control secretory granule biogenesis and transport in endocrine and neuroendocrine cells and neurons. Her research has also provided a better understanding of diseases such as diabetes, obesity and neurodegeneration. Recently, she and her team have discovered a splice isoform of the enzyme, carboxypeptidase E (CPE-ΔN) that is highly expressed in different types of metastatic tumor cells and is an inducer of tumor growth and metastasis. Clinical studies so far have shown that CPE-∆N is a very promising powerful biomarker for predicting future metastasis, and a potential therapeutic target for different malignant cancers.
Dr. Loh received her B.Sc. (Hons.) in Biochemistry from University College Dublin, Ireland, and her PhD in Molecular Biology from The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. She did her postdoctoral work with Dr. Harold Gainer at NIH and at the Max Plank Institute in Germany. During her career at NIH, Dr. Loh has received numerous honors and awards including the Public Health Superior Service Award, the NIH Director’s Award, the NIH Director’s Award for Mentoring, The FASEB Award for Excellence in Science, and the Women In Endocrinology Mentor Award. She is a member of the Endocrinology Society, American Society for Cell Biology, Society for Neuroscience and served on many Editorial Boards. She has authored more than 160 scientific articles published in the most prestigious journals such Cell, Nature Medicine, Journal of Clinical Investigations, JAMA and Neuron, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and numerous review articles.