Postodoctoral research fellow in Behavioral Neuroscience
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Our research is focused on how the brain controls appetite and our food choices. Ensuring appropriate intake of the three macronutrients, carbohydrate, fat, and protein, is a compelling problem for survival of all animals, including humans. Of these, protein is believed to be the most essential, as many amino acids cannot be synthesized de novo. Accordingly, animals adjust their behavior to ensure adequate intake of dietary protein for survival. Animals that are maintained on a protein-restricted diet develop a strong preference for a protein-rich solution, relative to carbohydrate-rich solution. However, much is still unknown about the neuronal mechanisms orchestrating this behavior. In my research, we study the neuronal activity from specific subpopulations of lateral hypothalamus neurons in response to food that contains protein during protein appetite by use of mulitphoton microscopy.