Skip to Main Content

Richard Hochberg, PhD

Professor Emeritus of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences and Senior Research Scientist

Contact Information

Richard Hochberg, PhD

Mailing Address

  • Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences

    333 Cedar Street

    New Haven, CT 06520-8063

    United States

Research Summary

Studies of hormone action, detection of tumors with steroid hormones labeled with radioactive tags, imaging the hormone responsive regions of the brain, and synthesis of unique estrogens for treatment of menopausal symptoms. Studies of an unusual family of the fatty acid esters of steroids.

Speciailzed Terms: Steroid biochemistry; Steroid receptors; Synthesis of estrogens; locally active estrogens; SERMs; Radiochemistry; Estrogens and Androgens labeled with high energy isotopes

Extensive Research Description

Dr Hochberg was trained in the field of steroid chemistry and biochemistry in the laboratory of the renowned Dr Seymour Lieberman where he investigated the unique biosynthetic pathways involving steroid sulfates as intermediates, as well as the mechanisms in steroid biosynthetic pathway.

Subsequently, he discovered the previously unknown “lipoidal derivatives”, fatty acid esters of the steroids which included the estrogens and androgens, the most potent of the naturally occurring steroid hormones. He designed and synthesized the first steroid hormones labeled with high energy isotopes: the estrogen, 16a-iodoestradiol (and the 11ß-methoxy analog) which when labeled with 123I was used for detecting breast cancer metastases and with 125I for unique neuroendocrine studies of the estrogen responsive regions of the brain; an androgen, 7a-fluoro-DHT designed to detect prostate metastases by androgen receptor mediated uptake when labeled with 18F.

He developed the first in vitro bioassay for estrogens a procedure that is still currently used for the accurate determinations of estrogenic potency applicable to humans. He has also synthesized “local estrogens” for the treatment of menopausal dyspareunia, compounds that are devoid of systemic action and unique SERMs

1. SPECT imaging the estrogen and androgen responsive regions of the primate brain
2. Developing SERMs that do not act on the brain and cause hot flashes.
3. Develop locally active antiandrogens for the treatment of skin

Research Interests

Biochemistry; Estrogens; Gynecology; Radiochemistry; Steroids; Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators

Selected Publications