• Obesity and the Digestive System

    Stephen C. Woods, PhD
    Professor
    Director of the Cincinnati Obesity Research Center
    Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience

    Description of Research

    Dr. Woods is examining the role of gastrointestinal hormones in influencing food intake and body weight. Specifically, considerable evidence suggests that two kinds of peripheral signals influence eating. Some signals, represented by cholecystokinin, are peptides secreted in response to meals. Besides contributing to digestion, some of these peptides additionally signal the central nervous system to contribute to sensations that lead to satiation. Other signals, represented by insulin and leptin, circulate to the CNS in direct proportion to adiposity. Working with animal models (rats and mice), Dr. Woods' research considers all aspects of these systems including secretion and interactions of the signals, their ability to influence peripheral and central neural circuits and the CNS systems that control food intake and energy homeostasis.

    Collaborations

    Dr. Woods has a long-standing collaboration with Dr. Randy Seeley investigating the mechanisms of diet-induced obesity in rodents, with Dr. Sakai studying the influence of stress on body weight regulation, and with Dr. Tso in the Cincinnati Mouse Metabolic Phenotype Center. Anticipated Core use: Integrative Morphology.

  • Research image.

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