Dr Giuseppe D’Agostino
My laboratory focuses on understanding which brain cells function to suppress appetite and how they establish a feeling of fullness following a meal.
I decided to base my research team at the Rowett Institute, a world-class metabolic research institute, where I have access to state-of-the-art technologies and equipment.
In my lab, by using genetic technologies, we can place in neurons fluorescent proteins that enable them to be seen, mapped and turned on or off on demand. Our data show that artificially turning on discrete brain cells can trick the brain into believing that food has been consumed, and hence reduce food intake and body weight.
Thanks to the MRC-Discovery funded project, my laboratory is working toward a technological advance to identify specific genes controlling appetite. We are implementing novel approaches based on the CRISPR/Cas9 technology to manipulate the activity of these genes in discrete brain regions. We aim to understand whether reducing or increasing the activity of specific genes can be a novel therapeutic approach to treat eating disorders and obesity. The development of these new tools will not only provide crucial information about how the brain regulates appetite but will also offer an important springboard to the development of my research group.