Metabolic consequence of in vivo modulation of discrete serotonergic pathways

Year of award: 2012


  • Prof Lora Heisler

    University of Aberdeen

Project summary

Obesity and type 2 diabetes represent major medical and economic challenges for the 21st century. Unfortunately, obesity medications are limited, reflecting a profound worldwide unmet clinical need. Lora’s research aims to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes in an effort to identify novel therapeutic interventions. The brain is the master regulator of energy balance and body weight, and Lora’s laboratory studies the neural underpinnings of appetite, energy expenditure, adiposity accumulation and glucose homeostasis. A particular emphasis of the research programme is the neurotransmitter serotonin, which has been a target of obesity medications for over 20 years. The research team is delineating the mechanism through which serotonin medications improve obesity in an effort to identify more targeted interventions. Lora’s laboratory also discovered that a specific component of the brain serotonin network improves type 2 diabetes and her group is further defining how this effect is achieved.