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Michael Scott Freemark, MD

Robert C. Atkins, M.D. and Veronica Atkins Professor of Pediatrics, in the School of Medicine
Professor of Pediatrics
Chief, Divison of Pediatric Endocrinology
Affiliate, Duke Global Health Institute
Member of Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center
Campus mail: Box 102820 Med Ctr, Durham, NC 27710
Phone: (919) 684-8350
Email address: freem001@mc.duke.edu

The primary objective of my basic research has been to elucidate the roles of placental and fetal hormones in the regulation of maternal metabolism and fetal growth. My work has focused on the lactogenic hormones produced by the pituitary gland and placenta. In recent studies we have used targeted knockout mice to explore the molecular mechanisms by which prolactin and placental lactogen regulate pancreatic beta cell mass and insulin production during pregnancy and postnatal life.
I also have a clinical research interest in the pathogenesis and treatment of obesity and hyperlipidemia and the prevention of type 2 diabetes. In previous studies we showed that the drug metformin reduces fat stores and blood glucose and insulin levels in obese adolescents and may reduce the risk of progression to diabetes in selected patients. We have also examined the unique metabolic characteristics of Prader Willi syndrome, a genetic obesity disorder. Finally, we have recently completed a detailed study of metabolism in malnourished children in Uganda and characterized the effects of concurrent HIV infection on nutritional recovery.

Education and Training

  • M.D., Duke University, 1976
  • B.A., Brandeis University, 1972

Selected Grants and Awards

Publications

Fleenor, D. E., and M. Freemark. “Prolactin induction of insulin gene transcription: roles of glucose and signal transducer and activator of transcription 5..” Endocrinology 142, no. 7 (July 2001): 2805–10. https://doi.org/10.1210/endo.142.7.8267.

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Freemark, M. “Ontogenesis of prolactin receptors in the human fetus: roles in fetal development..” Biochem Soc Trans 29, no. Pt 2 (May 2001): 38–41. https://doi.org/10.1042/0300-5127:0290038.

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Kelly, P. A., N. Binart, M. Freemark, B. Lucas, V. Goffin, and B. Bouchard. “Prolactin receptor signal transduction pathways and actions determined in prolactin receptor knockout mice..” Biochem Soc Trans 29, no. Pt 2 (May 2001): 48–52. https://doi.org/10.1042/0300-5127:0290048.

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Freemark, M., and D. Bursey. “The effects of metformin on body mass index and glucose tolerance in obese adolescents with fasting hyperinsulinemia and a family history of type 2 diabetes..” Pediatrics 107, no. 4 (April 2001). https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.107.4.e55.

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Freemark, M., D. Fleenor, P. Driscoll, N. Binart, and P. Kelly. “Body weight and fat deposition in prolactin receptor-deficient mice..” Endocrinology 142, no. 2 (February 2001): 532–37. https://doi.org/10.1210/endo.142.2.7979.

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Handwerger, S., and M. Freemark. “The roles of placental growth hormone and placental lactogen in the regulation of human fetal growth and development..” J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab 13, no. 4 (April 2000): 343–56.

Scholars@Duke

Petryk, A., D. Fleenor, P. Driscoll, and M. Freemark. “Prolactin induction of insulin gene expression: the roles of glucose and glucose transporter-2..” J Endocrinol 164, no. 3 (March 2000): 277–86. https://doi.org/10.1677/joe.0.1640277.

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Fleenor, D., A. Petryk, P. Driscoll, and M. Freemark. “Constitutive expression of placental lactogen in pancreatic beta cells: effects on cell morphology, growth, and gene expression..” Pediatr Res 47, no. 1 (January 2000): 136–42.

Scholars@Duke

Freemark, M. “The fetal adrenal and the maturation of the growth hormone and prolactin axes..” Endocrinology 140, no. 5 (May 1999): 1963–65. https://doi.org/10.1210/endo.140.5.6778.

Full Text

Freemark, M. “Editorial: The fetal adrenal and the maturation of the growth hormone and prolactin axes.” Endocrinology 140, no. 5 (1999): 1963–65.

Scholars@Duke

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