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Tim Moran, Ph.D.

Timothy H. Moran, Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Tim Moran, Ph.D.

Paul R. McHugh Professor of Motivated Behaviors

Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Expertise: Eating Disorders, Obesity, Weight Disorders

Research Interests: Neural and Epigenetic Bases of Psychiatric Disorders; Obesity; Brain/Gut Interactions in the Controls of Food Intake more



  • Paul R. McHugh Professor of Motivated Behaviors
  • Vice Chair for Research
  • Director, Behavioral Neuroscience Laboratory
  • Associate Director, Johns Hopkins Global Center for Obesity Prevention
  • Associate Co-Director, Integrated Physiology Core of Diabetes Research Center
  • Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Departments / Divisions


Additional Training

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, 1982, Neurochemistry

Research & Publications

Research Summary

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

Selected Publications

View all on Pubmed

Tamashiro, K.L.K., Terrillion, C.E., Hyun, J., Koenig, J.I. and Moran, T.H.: Prenatal stress or high fat diet increases susceptibility to diet-induced obesity in rat offspring. Diabetes 58:1116-1125, 2009.

Yang, L., Scott, K.A., Hyun, J., Tamashiro, K.L., Tray, N., Moran, T.H. and Bi, S.: Role of dorsomedial hypothalamic NPY in modulating food intake and energy balance. Journal of Neuroscience, 29:179-190, 2009.

Chakraborty, A., Koldobskiy, M.A., Bello, N.T., Maxwell, M., Potter, J.J., Juluri, K.R., Maag, D., Kim, S., Huang, A.S., Dailey, M.J., Saleh, M., Snowman, A.M., Moran, T.H., Mezey, E. and Snyder, S.H.: Inositol pyrophosphates inhibit Akt signaling, regulate insulin sensitivity and weight gain. Cell, 143:897-910, 2010.

Chao, P-T., Yang, L., Aja, S., Moran, T.H. and Bi, S. Knockdown of NPY expression in the dorsomedial hypothalamus promotes brown fat adipogenesis and prevents diet induced obesity. Cell Metabolism 13: 573-583, 2011.

Gao, S., Zhu, G., Gao, X., Wu, D., Carrasco, P., Casals, N., Hegardt, F.G., Moran, T.H. and Lopaschuk, G.D.: Important roles of brain specific carnitine palmitoyltrasnferase and ceramide metabolism in leptin hypothalamic control of food intake. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108: 9691-9696, 2011.

Jiang, M., Wang, J., Fu, J., Du, L., Jeong, H-K.,West, T., Xiang, L., Peng, Q., Hou, Z., Cai, H., Seredenin, T., Arbez, N., Zhu, S., Sommers,K., Qian, J., Zhang, J., Mori, S., Yang, X.W., Tamashiro, K.L.K., Aja, S., Moran, T.H., Luthi-Carter, R., Martin, B., Maudsley, S., Mattson, M.P., Cichewicz, R.H., Ross, C.A., Holtzman, D.H., Krainc, D. and Duan, W.: Neuroprotective role of SIRT1 in mammalian models of Huntington's disease through activation of multiple SIRT1 targets. Nature Medicine 18:153-158, 2011.

Dailey, M.J., Moghadam, A.A. and Moran, T.H.: Jejunal linoleic acid infusions require GLP-1 to inhibit food intake: implications for the effectiveness of Roux-en Y gastric bypass. American Journal of Physiology 301: E1184-E1190, 2011.

Lee, R.S., Tamashiro, K.L.K., Aryee, M.J., Murakami, P., Seifuddin, F., Herb, B., Huo, Y., Rongione, M., Feinberg, A.P., Moran, T.H. and Potash, J.P.: Adaptation of the CHARM DNA methylation platform for the rat genome reveals novel brain region-specific differences. Epigenetics 6:1378-1390, 2011.

Sun, B., Purcell, R.H., Yan, J., Moran, T.H. and Tamashiro, K.L.K.: Maternal high-fat diet during gestation or suckling differentially affects offspring leptin sensitivity and obesity. Diabetes 61: 1-9, 2012.

Byerly, M.S., Salayta, M.A., Swanson, R.D., Kwon, K., Peterson, J.M., Wei, Z., Aja, S., Moran, T.H., Blackshaw, S. and Wong, G.W.: Estrogen-related receptor β deletion modulates whole-body energy balance via estrogen-related receptor γ and attenuates neuropeptide Y gene expression. European Journal of Neuroscience, 37: 1033-1047, 2013.

Liang, N-C, Bello, N.T. and Moran, T.H.: Additive feeding inhibitory and aversive effects of naltrexone and exendin-4 combinations. International Journal of Obesity, 37: 272-278, 2013.

Sun, B., Liang, N.C., Ewald, E.R., Purcell, R.H., Boersma, G.J., Yan, J., Moran, T.H. and Tamashiro, K.L.: Early postweaning exercise improves central leptin sensitivity in offspring of rat dams fed high-fat diet during pregnancy and lactation. American Journal of Physiology, 305: R1076-R1084, 2013.

Liang, N-C., Smith, M. and Moran T.H.: Palatable food avoidance and acceptance learning with different stressors in female rats. Neuroscience, 235: 149-158, 2013.

Dailey, M.J., Moghadam, A.A. and Moran, T.H.: Nutrient specific feeding and endocrine effects of jejunal infusions in obese animals. American Journal of Physiology, 306: R420-R428, 2014.

Treesukosol, Y., Sun, B., Moghadam, A., Liang, N.C., Tamashiro, K.L. and Moran, T.H.: Maternal high-fat diet during pregnancy and lactation reduces the appetitive behavioral component in female offspring tested in a brief-access taste procedure. American Journal of Physiology, 306:R499-R509, 2014.

Contact for Research Inquiries

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Ross Building
720 Rutland Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21205 map
Phone: 410-955-2344

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Cellular and Molecular Medicine

Activities & Honors


  • 2013 Hoebel Creativity Award, Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, 2013
  • Adolf Meyer Fellowship, 1984
  • Paul R. McHugh Professorship in Motivated Behaviors, 2002
  • Fellow, Obesity Society, 2008
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