We are interested in elucidating the multiple roles that sex hormones play in development of the nervous system and in regulating brain functions that influence gender identity, puberty, and reproduction. Understanding how these potent small molecules influence neural development and physiology should reveal new mechanisms for treating human diseases, including illnesses such as autism, PTSD, and Alzheimer’s disease. There is a common misperception that the action of sex hormones, namely estrogen and testosterone, is well established, when in fact quite the opposite is true. Answers to questions regarding how these molecules traffic into and within cells and regulate cellular functions remain largely unknown. To gain deeper insight into the pharmacology of sex hormones, we are developing selective chemical probes that function as sex hormone mimics to enable labeling and identification of proteins that interact with these molecules. Subsequent studies will allow us to determine how sex hormones bind to and influence the function of these proteins and the consequences of these actions on physiology and behavior. Our investigations combine chemical synthesis, biochemistry, and neuroscience and, as a research team, we are uniquely qualified to advance this multidisciplinary research program.