Vitamin D Research Lab
Vitamin D & Human Health
Vitamin D is a potent regulator of cellular functions in a variety of tissues. Research within our group is aimed at defining the clinical importance of this by exploring novel responses and mechanisms associated with vitamin D. These include classical actions of vitamin D in the bone and so-called non-classical effects of vitamin D, notably as a regulator of immune responses.
Classical Effects of Vitamin D
Vitamin D plays a key role in maintaining the skeleton by regulating calcium and phosphate homeostasis – vitamin D-deficiency leads to the bone disease rickets in children and osteomalcia in adults. However, vitamin D can also influence other components of the skeleton, notably the cells that control bone turnover.
Non-Classical Effects of Vitamin D
We now know that in addition to its classical effects on the skeleton vitamin D is a potent regulator of other important physiological responses. Prominent amongst these effects is the interaction between vitamin D and the immune system. In collaboration with Dr Robert Modlin and Dr Philip Liu at UCLA, we have established a series of studies to explore the antibacterial properties of vitamin D.