U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Alexxai Kravitz

 Contact Info

Tel: 301-496-6896
Email: lex.kravitz@nih.gov

 Select Experience

  • PostdocGladstone Institutes of Neurological Disease2009-2013
  • Ph.D.University of Pennsylvania2009
  • B.A.Wesleyan University2001

 Related Links


Alexxai V. Kravitz, Ph.D.

Acting Section Chief, Eating and Addiction SectionDiabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch
  • Neuroscience/Neurophysiology/Neurodevelopment
Research Summary/In Plain Language

Research in Plain Language

The prevalence of obesity has increased rapidly over the past 30 years, and obesity-related illnesses are now a leading cause of death in the United States.  This growth is due to multiple reasons, but increases in food intake are a large contributor.  Put simply, Americans consume about 25 percent more calories than we did 30 years ago.  Although the solution to this problem appears simple—eat less—more and more people are finding this impossible to do.  Why is it so difficult for us to eat less?  What has changed over the past 30 years to make it even more difficult?

The main goal of our research is to understand how diet affects reward and feeding circuitry in the brain.  The lab investigates the hypothesis that certain diets can alter and impair neural circuits that regulate reward processing and food consumption, similar to how drugs of abuse impair these circuits in addicts.