"Why do we get sick when we eat too much?”
“Why do we stay healthy and live longer when we eat less?”
We all know how important nutrition is to our health, but we are only at the beginning of understanding how diet can have an impact on disease and health. Because the brain is a critical regulator of whole-body metabolism, we are investigating how and whether the brain responds to positive and negative energy balance and mediates the effects of diet on chronic disease and aging. To address these important questions, we use a variety of in vivo and in vitro approaches, including mouse genetics, optogenetics/chemogenetics, in vivo tracer studies of metabolism, and organotypic brain slice cultures.
Current research focus in the Fukuda lab:
- Signaling mechanisms controlling neural leptin sensitivity
- A gut-brain signal that promotes obesity.
- A novel neural signaling pathway that may have an anti-diabetic effect.