Dr. Heward introduces himself, shares how estradiol, estrone and estriol differ and if estradiol is more dangerous than the others.
My name is Christopher Heward and I am President of Kronos Science Laboratories and my background as a scientist started when I was a student at the University of Arizona, in Tucson, studying originally psychology. I quickly decided that psychologists probably didn’t know as much about the brain as I had hoped and began to expand my horizons to include undergraduate degrees in chemistry and biology.
I went on to complete the basic science curriculum for medical students at the medical school and all of the degree requirements for a Ph.D. in Anatomy and Histology at the medical school, but became interested in endocrinology and before finishing my doctorate, changed departments to the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology to do hormone research.
I have done a lot of research, primarily on the molecular mechanisms of hormone action, how the molecules, the hormones themselves, interact with their cellular receptors, and have been doing endocrinology research pretty much ever since in one capacity or another.
Here at Kronos, we have focused on aging and age-related diseases, and obviously aging has its impacts on hormones, a variety of hormones. Almost all of the hormones are impacted negatively in some way. Certainly the homeostatic balance that is regulated by hormones is compromised as we get older, and probably the most obvious example of that is the tremendous hormonal changes that occur in women around age 50 at the menopause. So, that’s a big part of my interest in endocrinology and hormones and aging and age-related diseases.
Estradiol is the potent one. Again, talking about the way hormones interact with their receptors, the primary estrogen in the body that’s produced naturally by women is estradiol. That’s the one that does what it does when it binds the estrogen receptor. The other molecules also are estrogenic in their effects but to a lesser degree because of their structural activity relationships.
So if you want an estrogen effect, positive or negative, then estradiol is your hormone. The reason it’s negative is to the extent that estrogen will stimulate breast cancers to grow, the most naturally potent estrogen, estradiol, is going to stimulate that growth better. So in that sense, it is the most dangerous as well, but it’s also the most beneficial.
About Dr. Heward, Ph.D.:
Dr. Christopher B. Heward is past-President of Kronos Science Laboratory. His primary responsibility was providing scientific and technical leadership for all laboratory activities. He oversaw the development and implementation of the clinical laboratory testing program; assisted in designing and refining both internally and externally sponsored clinical studies; directed and coordinated diagnostic product research and development; administered laboratory and patient databases; was principal investigator for the Kronos Longitudinal Aging Study (KLAS); and communicated Kronos’ discoveries and advances to lay and scientific audiences via presentations and publications. Dr. Heward’s research interests included healthy aging, endocrinology, oxidative stress, Alzheimer’s disease, prion disease (TSE) and menopause. Dr. Heward attended the University of Arizona and received a Bachelor of Arts degrees from both the Department of Psychology and the Department of Chemistry, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree from the Department of Biology. He earned his PhD from the Department of Biology in 1981.
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