Our laboratory's overarching goal is to identify and characterize the neural signaling pathways controlling for food intake and body weight regulation in an effort to treat obesity and associated co-morbidities. To this end, our research examines the behavioral, intracellular, neuronal, and endocrine mechanisms governing energy balance and how these processes are dysregulated in obesity.
A major theme of research in our lab focuses on the neuropeptide glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and its role in regulating energy balance through action in the periphery on the vagus nerve (cranial nerve X), as well as the central nervous system (CNS). The potential for GLP-1 receptor agonists to be used as a pharmacological treatment for obesity has been highlighted in a number of recent publications. For this to become a reality, however, will require a deepened understanding of the behavioral, neuronal, and physiological mechanisms by which the peripheral and central GLP-1 systems control for food intake and body weight regulation.