In the United States, approximately 2/3rd of the adult population is either overweight or obese, 33% of school-aged children are considered obese, and 12% of the infants born are at the 99th percentile for body weight in comparison to charts from the last decade. Metabolic Syndrome (MetS), a collection of disorders which includes obesity, diabetes, dyslipidemia and hypertension, is rampant in this country; the high incidence of MetS continues to be associated with increased severity of symptoms. Under normal circumstances, the central nervous system (CNS), most notably the hypothalamus, maintains fine-tuned control over calorie intake and expenditure. However, due in part to the high availability and intake of calorically dense (Western) diets, neural, metabolic and behavioral adaptations have led to overwhelming proportions of individuals with Met(S). Among women of child-bearing age, maternal MetS can result in transmission of these metabolic disorders to progeny. My specific research interests are two-fold: the neural, metabolic and behavioral mechanisms by which gut hormones are involved in energy balance and glucose homeostasis and the mechanisms by which maternal gut hormones affect the transmission of metabolic diseases from mother to offspring. The theme of my research spans the disciplines of physiology, neuroendocrinology, behavioral neuroscience and developmental neurobiology.
*In the last four years. A complete publication list can be accessed through MyBibliography at NCBI.