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Dr Bert De Groef Senior Lecturer, Physiology Anatomy & Microbiology

Bert De Groef obtained his degrees of Candidate in Biology and Licentiate in Biology at the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium, in 1997 and 1999 respectively. He was awarded a Ph.D. degree (Doctor in Sciences) from the same university in 2003 for his work on the hypothalamic control of thyrotropin secretion in the chicken. Between 2003 and 2010 Bert worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Comparative Endocrinology (Department of Biology) and the Leuven Center for Bioscience, Bio-engineering and Biotechnology of the KU Leuven. During this period he also joined the Laboratory of Developmental Neuroendocrinology at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI, USA) in 2007-2008, and wrote two books "The Science of Life" and "The Biology of Sex", both in Dutch. Bert took up the position of Lecturer at the Department of Agricultural Sciences at La Trobe University in 2011 and then moved to the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Microbiology in 2015. He is currently Lecturer and Course Coordinator of the Bachelor of Animal & Veterinary Biosciences.

Bert's research focuses on the role of (neuro)hormones in vertebrate embryonic development, birth, and growth, using the chicken and mouse as the main animal models. Emphasis is on the hormones of the brain (hypothalamus) and pituitary gland and their interactions with hormones of other endocrine systems such as the thyroidal, adrenal (stress) and growth hormone system. Hormonal actions are studied at the molecular level (DNA, RNA, protein), tissue/organ level and at the organismal level. Commonly used techniques include real-time RT-PCR, gene cloning, combined in situ hybridisation and immunohistochemistry, and in vitro perifusion. This research provides a basis for applications in both medicine and animal production.

Keywords: endocrinology hormones gene expression comparative physiology animal growth and development neurobiology

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