Dr Alastair Garfield is a research fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA. Dr Garfield is an established neuroscience researcher in the field of energy balance and body weight regulation. His research interests focus on dissecting the specific neural circuits underlying the physiological and behavioural modalities that define appetite and energy metabolism. His specific expertise lies in the generation and employment of genetically modified rodent lines, which he uses in combination with state of the art optogenetic, pharmacogenetic and circuit-mapping tools.
Garfield et al. An excitatory paraventricular nucleus to AgRP neuron circuit that drives hunger. Nature. 2014 507(7491):238.
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Prof Dave Grattan of the University of Otago in New Zealand is the former Editor in Chief of the Journal of Neuroendocrinology and regional representative for Australasia for the International Neuroendocrine Federation. Prof Grattan has a strong research programme in appetite regulation, and will act as project advisor as well as supporting dissemination activities in Australia and New Zealand.
Grattan et al. Hormone interactions regulating energy balance during pregnancy. J Neuroendocrinol 2010;22:805.
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Dr Guido Frank is Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at University of Colorado, Denver, USA. Dr Frank has been working with individuals with eating disorders for ~20 years and has been involved in brain imaging studies for most of that time. Recently he has focused on brain reward processing in adults with anorexia nervosa. Dr Frank is one of very few individuals trained in neuroimaging and both adult, as well as child and adolescent psychiatry and psychotherapy. With his long-standing work in the eating disorders field, his neuroimaging background, and experience with various models of brain function, Dr Frank has an excellent basis to support translational research studies in this project.
Frank et al. Heightened sensitivity to reward and punishment in anorexia nervosa. Int J Eat Disord 2011; 44:317.
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Prof Russ Poldrack's primary expertise is the use of neuroimaging techniques to understand the brain systems that underlie decision-making, learning, and executive control. His work has been awarded by the American Psychological Association and the Organization for Human Brain Mapping, and is funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and Office of Naval Research. Prof Poldrack brings several important areas of expertise to the project: extensive experience in the design and analysis of neuroimaging studies, employing predictive models using fMRI, and expertise in value-based decision-making and response inhibition.
Poldrack et al. The neural basis of loss aversion in decision-making under risk. Science 2007 315:515.
Prof Rudolph Leibel is Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine , and Director of the Division of Molecular Genetics and the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, Colombia University, New York, USA. Prof Leibel has over 25 years experience in investigating appetite and obesity in pre-clinical and clinical settings. His work on single gene mutations in rodents, including the hyperphagic and obese ob/ob mouse, was instrumental in the discovery of the leptin gene and its receptor. The discovery of leptin, a peripheral hormone that signals the level of adipose stores to the brain, had a huge impact on obesity research, setting in motion an understanding of how appetite-related hormones interact with the neural circuitry underlying eating behaviour. More recently, Prof Leibel was first to demonstrate that maintenance of successful weight loss is accompanied by sustained lowering of energy expenditure, making individuals in the post-obese state more likely to gain weight. Prof Leibel is internationally recognised for this work and has received a number of prizes and honorary lectureships. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and a member of the Federal Advisory Council for the US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Leibel et al. Low-dose leptin reverses skeletal muscle, autonomic, and neuroendocrine adaptations to maintenance of reduced weight J Clin Invest. 2005; 115:3579
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Prof Cass Sunstein is Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, MA, USA. Prof Sunstein is a globally-recognised expert on behavioural economics, public policy, law and consumer behaviour. His expertise is reflected in books including “Risk and Reason” (2002), “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness” (2008), and “Simpler: The Future of Government” (2013). He is Director of the Program on Behavioural Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School. From 2009 to 2012, he served as Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) under President Barack Obama. With respect to consumer behaviour, obesity and health policy, the recommendations of OIRA were influenced by empirical work, including research in behavioural economics, and introduced a wide range of new insights on the likely effects of various initiatives.