Research

Our basic research interests lie in the exploration of how cells signal - from responding to input, translating this input into their 'language' and ultimately producing the appropriate response based upon their physiological state.  To this end, my laboratory has been attracted to the study of sensory systems where the input (in terms of a sensory stimulus) is well understood and easily controlled.  Using molecular, cellular and behavioral approaches we have focused our efforts on trying to determine the way the body recognizes and responds to nutrients and how this response is modulated by nutritional need, dietary experience and disease state. Our research platform has important implications for dietary selection, the control of food intake and nutrient-related disorders like obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. While much of our focus is on the peripheral taste and somatosensory systems, we also investigate nutrient signaling in several post-ingestive targets that contribute to the control of food intake.

Currently, we have ongoing projects in the following topic areas (click for brief descriptions):

SENSORY RECOGNITION OF DIETARY FAT

MECHANISMS OF PERIPHERAL SALT TRANSDUCTION

MODULATION OF CHEMOSENSORY PATHWAYS BY DIET & DISEASE