Elias Lab

Molecular & Integrative Physiology Department

The primary focus of our research is to determine the neural circuitry and molecular pathways that connect metabolism and the neuroendocrine system. Our objective is to understand the mechanisms by which metabolic imbalances, like those seen in obesity and diabetes, disrupts the neuroendocrine function.

Childhood obesity is linked to an earlier onset of puberty and increased risks of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and several types of cancer such as breast, endometrial, and prostate cancer in later life. Obesity can also exacerbate conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, ovulatory dysfunctions, and may induce hypothalamic hypogonadism.

Our research also addresses how internal and external environmental signals modulate the neuroendocrine systems in a sex-specific manner.

We use genetically-engineered mouse models to manipulate genes in cell- and time-specific manner, alongside viral vectors, molecular brain mapping, and genetic tools.