Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences
Stanton -Gerber Hall (VA 178)
B.S. Tufts University, 1973; Ph.D. Harvard University, 1979
Neurobiology of chemosensory systems (taste and smell); neural system regulation of food intake; development and anatomy of cardiac neural regulation; functional neuroanatomy; neurophysiology
Currently my laboratory focuses on the organization and connectivity of brainstem gustatory nuclei and their input into the hypothalamus. We have been studying functional classes of second order taste neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract in regards to their topography within the nucleus, their connectivity patterns in the CNS and their chemical and functional anatomy, using immunohistochemistry for immediate early genes and neurotransmitter receptor subtypes along with anterograde and retrograde tract tracing methods. We are also interested in defining the circuits for transmission of taste input into different classes of peptidergic hypothalamic neurons involved in regulating feeding, adiposity and metabolism, and how these may be affected in conditions that result in obesity.