Prof. Paul Pfluger, head of the Research Unit NeuroBiology of Diabetes, receives a prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant

Globally, the prevalence of obesity and its comorbidities are a major burden to human health. People who are trying to lose weight through dieting often regain weight afterwards. Paul Pfluger aims to reveal the molecular processes behind this Yoyo dieting effect. To this end, he will focus on two major areas: First, the molecular underpinnings for leptin resistance (a hormone responsible for food intake and body weight) and the potential of leptin sensitizing weight loss drugs. Second, the epigenetic mechanisms of Yoyo dieting and the role of specific neurons in this process. Pfluger aims to use CRISPR-Cas9 technology to test whether the epigenetic memory for obesity can be reset by manipulating these neurons. With this approach, Pfluger’s goal is to provide the groundwork for future sustainable anti-obesity therapeutics.