George B. Delahunty
Lillian Welsh Professor of Biological Sciences (1979)
Hoffberger Science Building G48
B.S., Biology, Duquesne University, 1974
Ph.D., Physiology/Endocrinology Marquette University, 1979
Areas of Scholarly Expertise and Interest
Physiology/Endocrinology, Endocrine Control of Growth and Metabolism
Current research examines the evolution of the endocrine regulation of metabolism among the vertebrate line. More specifically my laboratory focuses on the hormonal regulation of metabolism changes, as vertebrates move from ectothermy (cold blooded) to endothermy (warm blooded). We use the amphibian model system, Xenopus laevis, as our ectothermic model organism to make comparisons with well-known mammalian systems. We believe this animal model provides a special system to examine the evolution of metabolic regulation in vertebrates, as the role of lipid metabolism is distinctly different than in mammals, and amphibians produce most of their energy from glucose alone, via glycolysis. The genome for Xenopus has been sequenced, enabling studies at both the physiological and molecular level. Recent studies include examining glucose tolerance in vivo, and the regulation of lipolysis in vitro.
In collaboration with faculty from chemistry department we have now begun metabolic profiling studies to better understand the range of specific metabolites and metabolic regulation in our Xenopus model system. This work gas chromatography/mass spectrum analysis involves of serum from the test animals. Mass spectra are then curated and evaluated to identify and semi-quantify the low molecular weight compounds in the serum samples.
Invited Lectures/Presentations at Professional Meetings
Collis A and Delahunty GB, Endocrine control of lipolysis in visceral adipose tissue in Xenopus laevis, Landmark Summer Student Research Conference, Goucher College, Towson, MD, July 2011.
Collis A and Delahunty GB, Endocrine control of lipolysis in visceral adipose tissue in Xenopus laevis, Univ. of Maryland Baltimore County Student Research Symposium, Catonsville, MD, October, 2011.
Mann R, Delahunty GB and Greco G, Metabolic profiling in Xenopus laevis, Landmark Summer Student Research Conference, Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA, July 2012.
Fan A and Delahunty GB, Endocrine control of adipose tissue in Xenopus tropicalis, Univ. of Maryland Baltimore County Student Research Symposium, Catonsville, MD, October, 2012.
student authors in bold
Recent Student Research Projects
Endocrine control of lipolysis in visceral adipose tissue in Xenopus laevis - Alexandra Collis '12
Endocrine Control of Adipose Tissue in Xenopus tropicalis - Ashley Fan '13
Metabolic profiling in Xenopus laevis - Rachel Mann '14
Professor Delahunty has published research articles and reviews on this topic in American Zoology, General and Comparative Endocrinology, and Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology and has received extramural funding for his research from the Research Corporation and the NIH AREA Program. He has presented papers at conferences such as the American Society of Zoologists and the International Congress on Comparative Endocrinology. Professor Delahunty has also been a Visiting Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and a Guest Investigator in the Diabetes Branch of the NIDDK at the National Institutes of Health. He has received a number of awards from the National Science Foundation to support instrumentation for computerized data acquisition and analysis in the animal physiology laboratory. He was also co-director of an award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute which helped to modernize the biology curriculum and provided support for core instrumentation improvements in the department. Professor Delahunty serves as the undergraduate Premedical Advisor and co-founder and academic head of Goucher's Post-Bac Premedical Program, which is one of the country's premier programs, with 100% acceptance rate to medical school for the past 8 years. He has served as Faculty Chair and as Chair of the Biology Department.
Introductory Biology II and Lab
Animal Physiology and Lab
Endocrinology and Lab
Seminar on Biological Rhythms
Human Biology (non-majors)
General Biology II (postbac premedical program)