Dr Lourdes Valencia-Torres
My name is Dr Lourdes Valencia-Torres and I am a behavioural neuroscientist. I was trained as an experimental psychologist in my home country, Mexico. I then moved to the UK to pursue a PhD in behavioural neuroscience at Nottingham University. After completing my PhD, I moved to the Rowett Institute to continue my postdoctoral training. This was in part because of my interest in obesity and the Rowett’s outstanding reputation in metabolic research. I initially joined Prof Lora Heisler’s laboratory with the aim of decoding the brain circuits controlling food-motivated behaviour and impulse control. In particular, I investigated how serotonin 5-HT2C receptors modulate behaviours influencing food intake.
The current MRC Discovery funded project has allowed me to expand my skillset and investigate other essential research questions regarding brain regulation of energy expenditure. Preliminary data generated in the Heisler Lab indicates that brain serotonin is able to reduce body fat by increasing energy expenditure. In this project, we will be further investigating this important observation to consider its therapeutic potential for the treatment of obesity.