Mark L. Andermann, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Department
Department of Medicine
Institution
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard University
Address
330 Brookline Ave.,
CLS750
City, State, Zip
Boston, MA 2215
Phone
(617) 913-4190
E-mail
manderma[at]bidmc.harvard.edu
Website
http://www.bidmc.org/Research/Departments/Medicine/Divisions/Endocrinology/Laboratories/AndermannLab/Members/MarkAndermann.aspx
Research Field
Neuroscience
Award Year
2013

Research

Our lab studies the cortical networks guiding hunger-dependent attention to food cues. We aim to understand how hunger causes changes in the brain and potential consequences for obesity, binge eating, and other eating disorders. Previous studies support a simple model for processing food cues: when someone is satiated, feeding cue information, such as an image of a cupcake, is sent to the visual cortex, but may not subsequently spread beyond the parahippocampal cortex to subcortical areas that orchestrate food-seeking behavior. By contrast, during states of hunger, the parahippocampal cortex may be primed such that food cue information is passed along to areas that drive food-seeking. With the Pew award, I intend to characterize the influence of natural and experimentally induced states of hunger on homologous cortical brain regions of transgenic mice. Using wide field and two-photon calcium imaging, we will assess how hunger influences sensory processing, both across and within brain areas, by observing the response to food-related, fear-related, and neutral cues. This work will move medicine towards specific cognitive therapies for binge eating and over-eating disorders related to obesity.