Puberty hormones


Puberty hormones and their effects.


Professor Kate Steinbeck

Research Location

Westmead - Childrens Hospital at Westmead Clinical School

Program Type



The Academic Department of Adolescent Medicine has the ability to perform salivary assays for a number of hormones, including cortisol, testosterone and oestradiol and continues to work on ways to provide less invasive ways to measure puberty hormones. There are many unanswered questions about the effects of puberty hormone in adolescence and in order to answer these questions less invasive testing is needed to measure the biomarkers of puberty - testosterone and oestradiol. We are particularly interested in two areas of puberty hormones

  1. The effect of puberty on the control and progression of chronic physical illness. There are good data for instance in Type 1 diabetes where increased growth hormone during the growth spurt causes insulin resistance and where the menstrual cycle can cause changes in blood sugar control. There are other chronic physical conditions where control and wellbeing can deteriorate during adolescence and for which it is unclear whether the loss of control/deterioration is a result of therapy non-adherence or because of puberty hormones and their biological actions.
  2. There are adolescents with medical conditions which make it impossible for them to have normal puberty development without hormone therapy. Turner syndrome and chemotherapy damage are two situations. There is limited information on what are the optimal therapy regimens for long term health and wellbeing and further research is needed to understand what constitutes an optimal puberty hormone therapy regimen. 
These studies need to be undertaken in a paediatric hospital where adequate numbers of patients in the right age group are available to participate.

Additional Information

These puberty hormone studies are more suited to an MPhil or PhD and would be of particular interest to medical graduates who are interested in doing some laboratory bench work. It is envisaged that these projects would be carried out under the joint supervision of the Academic Department of Adolescent Medicine and a specialty Department within The Children's Hospital at Westmead. Each year, the Academic Department of Adolescent Medicine advertises the medical Marie Bashir Clinical Research Fellow in Adolescent Health, a provisional Fellow position which is open to medical graduates, preferably in their final year of advanced training or who have completed advanced training. This Fellowship could potentially be the first year of a full-time MPhil or PhD for a suitably qualified applicant.

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puberty, hormones, adolescent, hormone developmental therapy, Turner syndrome, testosterone, oestradiol

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1264

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