Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH)
Jon E. Levine, Ph.D.
Dr. Levine is a Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is Director of the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center. Prior to his appointment to the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Levine was a Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Physiology at Northwestern University, where he had served as Director of the Program in Biological Sciences and Director of a National Institutes of Health-supported training program in reproductive biology. He received his B.A. from Oberlin College, a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and completed his postdoctoral work in neuroendocrinology at Oregon Health Sciences University and the Oregon National Primate Research Center.
For the past 30 years Dr. Levine has studied the neuroendocrine regulation of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons, in part by developing and using physiological methods to monitor and analyze GnRH neurosecretion in awake animals. His research has also focused on the mechanisms by which ovarian steroids exert their effects in the brain, the latter including the negative feedback mechanisms that maintain homeostatic control within the reproductive axis, as well as the positive feedback actions of steroids that culminate in release of preovulatory gonadotropin surges. His recent work has made use of newly developed mutant mice to analyze the cell signaling mechanisms that mediate the effects of estradiol on energy homeostasis and body weight.
Dr. Levine is the Co-director and project principal investigator on an ORWH-sponsored Specialized Center of Research entitled “Genes, Androgens, and Intrauterine Environment in PCOS.” The work is designed to investigate the genetic and developmental basis of the pathogenesis of polycystic ovarian syndrome and includes experiments that test the hypothesis that excess intrauterine androgen exposure leads to the programming of pancreatic and brain tissue to exhibit symptoms of PCOS in adulthood. The hypothesis specifically holds that the pathogenesis of PCOS arises from prenatal programming of resistance to the neuroendocrine actions of estradiol, which in turn produces dysregulation of reproductive and metabolic function in adulthood.
Dr. Levine is a former Eli Lilly Foundation Teaching Scholar, the recipient of an NIH/NICHD Research Career Development Award, and was named several times to the Faculty Teaching Honor Roll at Northwestern University. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, and has previously served as an Associate Editor of the journal Endocrinology.