Junior Research Group Diet-Induced Metabolic Alterations

The consumption of palatable, energy-dense food facilitates over-eating via central nervous system (CNS)-dependent mechanism. Circulating nutrients, metabolites and hormones, released by peripheral organs such as adipose tissue, liver, pancreas and the gastrointestinal tract act as homeostatic feedback signals to the CNS, which implements appropriate behavioral and metabolic responses in order to maintain energy and metabolic homeostasis. Our lab's research is focused on providing detailed insights into neurocircuitries activated by palatable, energy-dense food. We are using molecular and systems neuroscience approaches to define the anatomical distribution, molecular signature and neurocircuitry architecture of these neurons. Furthermore, we want to investigate the longitudinal effects governed by these neurons to determine their physiological relevance and their role in the deregulation of whole-body energy and metabolic homeostasis. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop novel noninvasive therapeutic interventions for obesity and other prevalent metabolic disorders.