NICHD research efforts related to pituitary tumors address the development of the pituitary gland itself as well as the development of pituitary tumors. Studies include efforts to understand:
- Basic science of pituitary gland development. Studies have identified transcription factors and signaling molecules involved in pituitary development; efforts have also involved the characterization of pituitary stem cells.
- Mechanisms of tumor development. Research has involved the development of mouse models of pituitary adenomas, examination of mutations that lead to the absence or underdevelopment of the pituitary gland or to tumors, and discovery of genes involved in pituitary dysfunction.
- Clinical characterization of childhood pituitary tumors and related disorders. Goals of clinical research involve training young physicians in childhood endocrine disease, developing methods for the diagnosis and treatment of tumors, and identifying genes involved in tumor development.