TORS Investigators
Team 1: Central Regulators of Energy Metabolism

Lead Investigator

Joel Elmquist, D.V.M., Ph.D., has identified new CNS pathways that contribute to the regulation of body weight. He has developed a series of genetically modified mice that provide key reagents for dissecting the relative roles of different hypothalamic signaling pathways in feeding and satiety. He was recently recruited from Harvard to direct a Center for Hypothalamic Research to study Obesity at UTSW. He is Chair of Integrative Physiology of Obesity and Diabetes study section.

Associate Investigators

Michael Lutter, M.D., Ph.D., recently completed his psychiatric residency and joined the Department of Psychiatry as an Associate Professor. His research focuses on interactions between feeding systems and mood/reward centers in the brain.

Bassil M. Kublaoui, M.D., Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in Pediatrics who was supported by the P20 as a Fellow. Now an independent investigator, he will decipher the mechanism by which single-minded 1 (SIM1) regulates body weight.

Masashi Yanagisawa, M.D., Ph.D., is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He discovered both the ligands and the receptors for endothelins and orexins, two key hormonal systems that regulate vascular tone and arousal.

Jeffrey Zigman, M.D., Ph.D., is an endocrinologist whose current studies are focused on delineating the mechanisms by which the hormone ghrelin influences body weight, pleasurable aspects of eating and mood, as well as the mechanisms that regulate ghrelin secretion.

Andrew Zinn, M.D., Ph.D., is a human geneticist who discovered that mutations in single-minded 1 (SIM1), a protein expressed in the hypothalamus, causes early-onset obesity in humans.