Exercising the Brain to Treat Obesity

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
Number of Master Places Available
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Garron dodd garron.dodd@unimelb.edu.au

Summary "Metabolic diseases, such as obesity and type-2 diabetes, represents the biggest biomedical challenges of our time. With the ever-increasing metabolic disease epidemic and the insurmountable costs of treating comorbidities (cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke), there has never been a more desperate need to discover novel pharmacological treatments.

Project Details

"Obesity has become one of the most important clinical-epidemiological challenges facing our society. Obesity arises when the energy we intake as food chronically exceeds the energy we expend via exercise. Despite this simplistic overview the mechanisms underlying the development of obesity are incredibly complex.
It is well established that metabolic hormones such as leptin and insulin regulate our appetite and energy expenditure by signalling to neurons in an area of the brain termed the hypothalamus.
During the development of obesity, neurons in the hypothalamus become resistant to the actions of leptin and insulin which results in excessive food intake and attenuated energy expenditure. The development of leptin and insulin resistance within neurons of the hypothalamus is a critical mechanism underlying the development of obesity the development of drugs capable of reinstating leptin and insulin signalling at the forefront of metabolic research.
Physical activity contributes to the prevention and treatment of obesity, not only by increasing energy expenditure but also by modulating appetite and reducing food intake. Exciting new evidence shows that physical activity can re-sensitising hypothalamic neurons to the actions of leptin and insulin however the molecular mechanisms underlying this are not fully understood.
In this exciting project, you will use state of the art proteomic profiling (with space and time resolution) alongside transgenic mouse models of obesity and exercise training to evaluate the molecular mechanisms by which neurons of the hypothalamus become defective in obesity and how exercise restores them. The results of these studies will provide new insights into how exercise regulates neuronal functional, information that will be used to discover novel drug targets to treat obesity."

Research Opportunities

PhD students, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

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