David Murray Cowie M.D. Research Professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Associate Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Medical School
Using novel mouse models, we are exploring the neuroanatomic and molecular pathways used by the brain to regulate metabolism and energy homeostasis. We are focused on dissecting the physiologic functions of subsets of neurons within the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, a critical brain region for body weight regulation. We take advantage of both novel mouse models and viral expression systems to manipulate neural activity and gene expression in specific neuronal populations in the brain in order to understand their role in physiology. Additional studies with collaborators at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, are using inducible, neuron-specific genetic changes to clarify the molecular basis of daily, biologic rhythms and explore how disruption of these rhythms predisposes organisms (rodents and humans) to pathologic changes in metabolism.