Our overall research program is aimed at identifying the roles of various neural signaling pathways in the controls of food intake and body weight and how these systems go awry in obesity and eating disorders. Specific projects have focused on: brain/gut peptides as feedback mediators of satiety and how signals arising from these peptides interact with hypothalamic signaling systems mediating overall energy balance, interactions between exercise and food intake, how alterations in cellular energy availability and production result in signals that modify food intake, and how developmental and epigenetic factors can produce long term alterations in neural signaling that bias the organism’s long term metabolic phenotype. We conduct experiments at multiple levels using cell and rodent models as well as nonhuman primates and normal and patient populations. This work has resulted in over 325 original data articles, reviews and book chapters.
His laboratory focuses on the controls of eating as they relate to the etiology of obesity and eating disorders. The laboratory uses multiple approaches including cell systems, genetic and dietary models of obesity in rodents, and analyses of feeding behavior in nonhuman primates. Specific projects involve examination of gut/brain in satiety, the role of hypothalamic neuropeptide systems in energy balance, interactions between energy expenditure and food intake and the identification of epigenetic factors that can bias the organism toward diabetes and obesity. His laboratory also studies developmental factors that can contribute to alterations in neural maturation.
Lab Website: Behavioral Neuroscience Laboratory
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Chawla, A., Cordner, Z.A., Boersma, G. and Moran, T.H.: Cognitive impairment and gene expression alterations in a rodent model of binge eating disorder. Physiology and Behavior, 180: 78-90, 2017
Beheshti, R., Treesukosol, Y., Igusa, T. and Moran, T.H.: A predictive model of rats' calorie intake as a function of diet energy density. American Journal of Physiology, 315: R256-R266, 2018
Albertz, J., Boersma, G., Tamashiro, K.L.K. and Moran, T.H.: The effects of scheduled running wheel access on binge-like eating behavior and its consequences. Appetite, 126: 176-184, 2018
Treesukosol, Y., Inui-Yamamoto, C., Mikuta, H., Yamamoto, T., and Moran, T.H.: Short-term exposure to a calorically dense diet alters taste-evoked responses in the chorda tympani nerve, but not unconditioned lick responses to sucrose. Chemical Senses, 43: 433-441, 2018
Khambadkone, S., Cordner, Z., Dickerson, F., Severance, E., Prandovszky, E., Pletnikov, M., Xiao, J., Li, Y., Boersma, G., Talbot, C., Campbell, W., Wright, C., Siple, C., Moran, T.H., Tamashiro , K.L. and Yolken, R.: Nitrated meat products are,associated with mania in humans and altered behavior and brain gene expression in rats. Molecular Psychiatry, 2018