- Senior Investigator and Branch Chief, NIDDK, NIH, 2011-present
- Director, Clinical Research; Director Obesity and Metabolic Research, Merck Research Laboratories, 2002-2011
- Fellow; Investigator Senior Investigator, NIDDK, NIH, 1986-2002
- Residency in Internal Medicine, Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, 1983-1986
- M.D., Ph.D., Washington University, 1983
- B.S., Massachusetts Institutes of Technology, 1977
Obesity has reached pandemic proportions and treatment is rarely successful for the long term. We believe that by elucidating the underlying physiology, novel and effective anti-obesity therapies will be discovered. Effective obesity treatment will also stem the epidemic of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
I am broadly interested in a mechanistic and translational understanding of diabetes, energy homeostasis, and obesity. My particular interests include studying mouse genetics and pharmacology, using mouse models to understand metabolic rate regulation, body temperature regulation and the role of BRS-3 (bombesin receptor subtype-3), and exploring drug treatments for obesity. One current project involves dissecting the neuroscience of how BRS-3 regulates metabolic rate, body temperature, and blood pressure. Another project explores how to improve the use of mice to evaluate candidate treatments for human obesity. A third interest is the role of brown adipose tissue and uncoupling in mouse and human thermal biology and body weight regulation.
Applying our Research
By studying the mechanisms involved in energy homeostasis, we should gain knowledge that will lead to advancements in the treatment of diabetes and obesity.
- Brs3 neurons in the mouse dorsomedial hypothalamus regulate body temperature, energy expenditure, and heart rate, but not food intake.
- Piñol RA, Zahler SH, Li C, Saha A, Tan BK, Škop V, Gavrilova O, Xiao C, Krashes MJ, Reitman ML.
- Nat Neurosci (2018 Nov) 21:1530-1540. Abstract/Full Text
- Mouse Thermoregulation: Introducing the Concept of the Thermoneutral Point.
- Škop V, Guo J, Liu N, Xiao C, Hall KD, Gavrilova O, Reitman ML.
- Cell Rep (2020 Apr 14) 31:107501. Abstract/Full Text
Research in Plain Language
I am interested in the physiology of obesity—how the body regulates energy intake and energy use. We use mice to study regulation of metabolic rate and body temperature and to explore potential drug treatments for human obesity. I believe that mouse studies will generate hypotheses for testing in the clinical setting, and similarly, that clinical observations will spur investigations using mouse models.