Fabien obtained his PhD in Neuroscience in 2012 from the University of Bordeaux (France) under the supervision of Dr Etienne Coutureau in the Decision and Adaptation team. During his PhD he investigated the role of the mesocortical dopamine pathway in goal-directed behaviour and its maturation during adolescence.
He stayed in Bordeaux for his first postdocs with Dr Martine Cador (Neuropsychopharmacology of Addiction team) and Dr Guillaume Ferreira (Laboratory of Nutrition and Integrative Neurobiology) to work on the long-term impact of sugar and high-fat diet overconsumption during adolescence on reward and memory processes.
In 2017, Fabien moved to the University of Leicester (England) to work as a postdoc with Dr James McCutcheon on the neurobiological circuits underlying protein appetite. In June 2020, Fabien is joining the Rowett Institute as Lecturer in Neuroscience.
Developmental aspects of normal and pathological food related behaviours
Control of food intake in a dynamic environment requires complex cognitive processes integrating internal and external information to support approach and food-seeking behaviours.
Early stages of life (childhood, adolescence) represent critical vulnerability windows and previous work suggests that the exposure to external factors such as diet habits during development may alter cognitive and neurobiological maturation.
Our research aims to investigate 1) how cognitive processes underlying food related behaviours and their neurobiological substrates are changing throughout development, and 2) how nutritional environment may affect these maturation processes and lead to pathological states, especially obesity and other food-related disorders.
To answer these questions we combine behavioural analyses (Pavlovian and instrumental conditioning) with in vivo recordings/manipulation of targeted brain circuits and ex vivo measures of brain function.