Research

The broad objective of the ICSNM Program is to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to study the molecular mechanisms of metabolism in health and disease.

The research of the ICSNM Program members encompasses studies in areas of metabolic cell signaling pathways such as those controlled by kinases and phosphatases in addition to post-translational modifications of proteins by glycosylation. How these signaling pathways integrate at the cellular and systems levels is an underlying focus of many of the projects represented by the ICSNM Program members.

ICSNM investigators are interested in the hypothalamic mechanisms of nutrient sensing in the regulation of metabolism, and how neural circuitry in the hypothalamus controls homeostatic and behavioral functions. How the hypothalamic neural circuitry is modified by physiological, behavioral and environmental changes in mature animals are achieved, and the influence of these neural pathways has, on peripheral tissue is a key area of study. Research efforts are also being applied toward understanding how peripheral tissues involved in obesity such as white adipose tissue contribute at the molecular level to control mass through nutritional and environmental cues. Finally, the importance of leveraging these multi-disciplinary approaches to humans is considered of paramount importance in the overall structure of the ICSNM Program. To this end, ICSNM Program investigators apply functional magnetic resonance imaging to study behavioral decision-making processes that govern our desire for the consumption of food as well as our preference for particular foods.

The collective efforts of these ongoing studies in the ICSNM Program will provide a broad range of knowledge in the area of metabolic disease. The scientific environment of the ICSNM Program is designed to foster collaboration among investigators of different backgrounds with the goal of seeding radical new discoveries, funding opportunities and concepts that challenge conventional thinking in the area of metabolic disease.