James Rillema, Ph.D.

James Rillema, Ph.D.



313-577-5494 (fax)

James Rillema, Ph.D.

Office Address

4251 Scott Hall

Position Title

Professor Emeritus

Areas of Interest

Endocrinology; cellular and molecular physiology

Narrative Bio

James A. Rillema, Ph.D, is professor emeritus of physiology and a former career development awardee of the American Cancer Society. In 1993, he received the Board of Governors Distinguished Faculty Award from the Wayne State University. His research interests focus on the signal transduction mechanisms for hormones in normal and neoplastic mammary cells.

Dr. Rillema's research work concerned the molecular actions of prolactin and other hormones on lactogenic and mitogenic processes. Experimental work was carried out to determine the roles of tyrosine kinases, protein kinase C, raf-1 kinase, and other kinases in the expression of prolactin's effects at the genetic level. The goal of this work was to identify the signaling mechanism(s) for the regulation of gene expression of the genes that are involved in milk product formation. Whether one or multiple sites of gene regulation are involved remains to be established. The results of past studies from this laboratory have contributed to our understanding of how, on a molecular basis, lactational processes are regulated. Future studies are designed to provide further definitive information concerning how prolactin works. In addition, other aspects of his experimental work may provide information about fundamental differences between normal and neoplastic mammary cells, and how prolactin regulates mitogenic processes.

Dr. Rillema is NOT accepting students.


 A list of Dr. Rillema's publications can be found at PubMed-Rillema

Post Graduate Training

  • 1968-70 Postdoctoral Fellow in Endocrinology, Emory University, Atlanta Georgia
  • 1980-81 Fogarty Senior International Fellow (sponsored by Dr. Peter Emmelot of the Antoni van Leeuwenhoekhuis Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Sabbatical Experience.)
  • 1992 Institute for Higher Education Administration, University of Virginia


1964 B.S. in Chemistry, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI
1966 M.S in Physiology, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI
1968 Ph.D. in Physiology, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI

Category Information

  • Molecular responses of breast epithelial cells to prolactin

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