Department of Neuroscience
690 Biomedical Research Tower
460 W. 12th Ave, Columbus, OH, 43210
The research in my lab focuses on understanding how the body senses, responds to, and adapts to complex and dynamic internal environments. We are primarily interested in the cellular and molecular mechanisms of the intestinal sensory machinery and circuitry. The intestine is the main site where the body processes all dietary components. The intestine also harbors billions of microorganisms that are important in shaping our physiology and behavior. Our current work focuses on the following areas: (1) characterizing the neuronal circuitry and signaling pathways that transmit diverse nutritional and microbial information from the gut to the brain; (2) investigating how the gut sensory machinery affects metabolism and feeding behavior; and (3) examining the microbial mechanisms and bioactive bacterial signals that regulate the gut-brain axis and physiology.
My lab uses a combination of genetic engineering, optogenetics, in vivo microscope imaging, immunofluorescence staining, and bioinformatic approaches in the zebrafish animal model to dissect the function and regulatory mechanisms of the gut sensory machinery and the gut-brain interaction axis. We also use a gnotobiotic approach and bacterial genetic engineering techniques to experimentally manipulate gut microbial community composition and microbial-derived signals in zebrafish. This allows us to examine how gut microbes interact with the host and how such interactions affect host physiology and behavior.
PhD: Cell Biology and Physiology, Indiana University School of Medicine
Postdoc training with Drs. John Rawls and Rodger Liddle at Duke University School of Medicine