October 31, 2012

Energy balance in a changing environment: Kaveh Ashrafi

The ability to maintain energy balance in a changing environment is essential for survival. The brain helps maintain this balance by sending signals that regulate food intake as well as fat storage. Abnormal metabolism has been associated with cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and even some neurodegenerative disease. However, the biology behind this link is not completely understood.

Our guest this month, Dr. Kaveh Ashrafi, an associate professor in the department of physiology at UCSF, hopes to tackle this important question. His lab uses microscopic nematodes to understand the genes and neural circuits that control fat and feeding regulation. By taking advantage of the simplicity of the nematode nervous system, scientists in Dr. Ashrafi’s lab can determine the precise role of these genes and how they control feeding behavior. His lab also studies how different chemicals in the environment can regulate metabolism and increase fat levels.

More on the Ashrafi Lab's research

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