Scientist using a dropper and test tubes

Our Work

Understanding The Basic Science

Our work should prove useful in understanding the neural and hormonal control of energy balance and their consequences for understanding pathological conditions of energy balance such as obesity. In addition, we should gain a better understanding of basic fat cell metabolism and the general abilities of animals to make anticipatory adaptive responses that enhance their survival and reproduction, as well as the involvement of neuropeptides in food acquisition and storage that are traditionally seen as underlying food intake.

View Our Publications on PubMed 

“…Obesity currently is the second leading cause of preventable death and will soon surpass cigarette smoking, the leading cause…”

Thomas A. Wadden Ph.D.
Testimony before
The U.S. House Of Representatives

We bring new and innovative approaches and experimental models to the overall theme of The Center for Obesity Reversal. To that end our team has a:

  • Structural biologist/bioinformatics person in Irene Webber
  • Cancer researcher in Ritu Aneja
  • Developmental biologist studying fresh water snail neurons and how they find their targets in Vincent Rehder
  • Food-reward/addiction researcher in Aaron Roseberry
  • Flat worm developmental biologist recently studying lipid deposition in the gut of C. elegans in Casonya Johnson
  • Learning and memory researcher in Marise Parent who has taken that background and combined it with the study of food intake to look at both the effects of high calorie/high fructose diets on memory in diet-induced obese rats
  • Researcher studying the brainstem control of respiration and cardiovascular function in Chun Jiang

In addition, there are traditional obesity researchers studying a variety of projects mostly associated with the bidirectional communication between the brain and fat as well as the foraging/hoarding model that mimics much of human food acquisition and storage in Timothy Bartness. Bingzhong Xue studies central and peripheral regulation of energy balance, insulin sensitivity, lipid and cholesterol metabolism, and brown and white adipocyte biology, by using transgenic/knockout models, molecular biology techniques and physiological approaches as well as the mechanisms mediating the induction of brown adipocytes in white fat depot. Hang Shi is interested in identifying inflammatory pathways that mediate lipid/obesity-induced insulin resistance and novel endogenous anti-inflammatory mechanisms that antagonize lipid/obesity-induced insulin resistance.

Associate members, who include Andrew Gewirtz, who studies the intestinal microbiota and how the bacteria can alter obesity, diabetes and food intake, and Didier Merlin, who is interested in the role of inflammation in a variety of tissues, including fat, because obesity is a state of chronic inflammation.

Bartness TJ, Liu Y, Shrestha YB, Ryu V. Front Neuroendocrinol. 2014 Apr 13. pii: S0091-3022(14)00043-0. doi: 10.1016/j.yfrne.2014.04.001. [Epub ahead of print] Review.

Ryu V, Bartness TJ. SHORT AND LONG SYMPATHETIC-SENSORY FEEDBACK LOOPS IN WHITE FAT. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2014 Apr 9. [Epub ahead of print]

Nguyen NL, Randall J, Banfield BW, Bartness TJ. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2014 Mar 15;306(6):R375-86. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00552.2013. Epub 2014 Jan 22.
Central sympathetic innervations to visceral and subcutaneous white adipose tissue.