Wu, Qi , PhD
Functional analysis of a GABAergic circuitry in control of appetite and metabolism
General Research Subject: Obesity
Focus: Integrated Physiology\Regulation of Food Intake, Obesity, Obesity\Animal Models, Signal Transduction (Non-Insulin Action), Signal Transduction (Non-Insulin Action)\Transgenic Models
Type of Grant: Junior Faculty
Project Start Date: July 1, 2013
Project End Date: June 30, 2016
Obesity is recognized as the leading risk factors of type II diabetes. Recent medical treatment of obesity encounters severe challenges, partly because the process involves restoration of 2 fundamental aspects of daily life: food consumption and physical activity. Uncontrolled consumption of this kind of foods is considered as a major contributor for developing obesity in both adults and children. This research proposal is aimed at a better understanding of how the brain controls food intake and energy metabolism in response to abnormal level of nutritional and hormonal signals that originate from overeating of high fat and high sugary diets.
The study is trying to identify an important neural network that uses a specific signaling molecule (GABA) to control appetite and body weight. The results would help us know where exactly this neural network is located, how this neural network interact with other cells in the brain to control feeding in animals with normal versus binge-like eating response. To approach these issues, we will work with mice that have been genetically engineered so that they are missing this signaling molecule from specific brain areas. The overall goal is to gain a complete understanding of the neural network in the brain that controls feeding behavior and energy homeostasis. The potential outcome from this study may provide scientific explanations for why calorie restriction and many anti-obesity drugs prove to be ineffective strategies for sustained weight loss in obese and diabetic subjects.
What area of diabetes research does your project cover? What role will this particular project play in preventing, treating and/or curing diabetes?
We study the neural mechanisms regarding the control of food intake and glucose metabolism. The project would functionally characterize a neural circuit in the hindbrain that mediates energy balance and glucose metabolism. We plan to elucidate a novel mechanism that would facilitate the discovery of novel treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
If a person with diabetes were to ask you how your project will help them in the future,
how would you respond?
Our project would elucidate novel signaling pathway and drug targets in the brain that mediates appetite and glucose metabolism. The discovery to be made would facilitate the discovery of novel treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Why is it important for you, personally, to become involved in diabetes research? What role will this award play in your research efforts?I have some family member developed type 2 diabetes since their middle age, which imposed long-lasting negative influence on their life. As a graduate student, I formed special interests in the conclusive yet poorly understood relationship between overweight and diabetes. The long absence of FDA-approved medication for body weight management demonstrates the crucial demanding of more ground-breaking basic research in order to help develop more effective drugs. With this ADA grants, I would be able to be engaged in studying neural regulation of feeding behavior which now transform into a rewarding career and wish that my research achievements can be translated into beneficial therapeutics for my family members and millions of others.
In what direction do you see the future of diabetes research going?
Future diabetes research would benefit from combined efforts from basic science and clinical medicine, as well as drug industry. A coherent environment should be set up that fosters a deeper and broader interaction among scientists and clinicians in the perspective as of diabetes research and prevention.
Check out our FREE program for tips on living with type 2.
Help us raise $1 million for diabetes research and other essential programs.
New tools for meal preparation made easy!
Bee Well for Life gives fitness tips and helps Stop Diabetes!
Great recipes tap the salad bar, deli, and freezer case to get food on the table.
Learn to make delicious vegetarian dishes with this easy-to-follow cookbook.
Celebrate the holidays with Diabetes Forecast! Best deal–order today!
Food is an important part of the African American culture. See our recipes.
Stay on track with our holiday meal planning tips. Recipes everyone will enjoy!
Was your child recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes? Order this free kit.
This personal tracking program is key to diabetes management.
Watch our Stop Diabetes PSA and share with your friends and family.
Recipes for Healthy Living, a holiday survival guide & more!
Get helpful tips for stress-free traveling with diabetes.
Check out our parent mentor volunteer program full of parents just like you!