Professor of Pharmacology
Ph.D., Washington State University
adiponectin, obesity, eating disorders, depression, melancortin system, adiposity hormone, leptin
My laboratory studies the molecular mechanisms and neural circuits underlying mood and metabolic disorders. Our current research focuses on the roles of adipose-derived hormones, leptin and adiponectin, in regulating neuronal plasticity (synaptogenesis and neurogenesis), cognition and emotion. We utilize neuron-specific transgenic mouse models, various types of stress and behavioral paradigms, in vivo and in vitro electrophysiology, in vivo real-time neurochemical monitoring and neuronal tracing techniques to understand how adipose-derived hormones communicate with the brain to contribute to the pathogenesis of major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and cognitive dysfunction and further explore their therapeutic potential for these psychiatric disorders.