|Institution||College of Medicine|
|Department||Neural and Behavioral Sciences|
|Address||500 University Drive Hershey PA 17033|
Professor of Neural and Behavioral Sciences
Professor of Surgery
GRADUATE PROGRAM AFFILIATIONS:
Neuroscience, Biomedical Sciences, Nutrition Sciences,
M.D., Pecs University Medical School, Hungary
Ph.D. in Neuroscience
Postdoctoral Training: Princeton University; Oregon Health Sciences University; Pennsylvania State University
My research is broadly concerned with understanding the role of orosensory, viscerosensory, hormonal and metabolic signals in the control of reward-seeking behaviors such as hedonic eating or the use of alcohol and drugs.
Specific projects address changes in the gut-brain signaling influencing taste and reward functions in obesity and following surgical (e.g. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery) and non-surgical weight reduction. We use behavioral, neurochemical, molecular, and electrophysiological methods in dietary and genetic obese (diabetic, or non-diabetic) rats and surgical models to investigate gustatory and dopamine signaling in the brain. The primary focus is on sweet taste and effects of carbohydrates on gut-brain peptides upstream to forebrain and hindbrain reward centers, and the outcome measures include anticipatory and consummatory behaviors such as sucrose or alcohol self-administration.
This research is relevant to the pathophysiology of eating, diet-induced obesity, and alcohol/drug addiction, and may help with developing a non-invasive alternative to bariatric surgery as well as new pharmacological interventions to treat eating and drug use disorders.
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