The Students

The Big Picture

I want to dissect the sensory, chemical and neural circuitry that controls appetite using the nematode C. elegans as a model system. I study how the nervous system of the worm integrates environmental cues to regulate its appetite using a novel microfluidic setup.
The regulation of food intake plays a major role in controlling energy availability in organisms. Misregulation of appetite and feeding can lead to obesity or anorexia, both life-threatening diseases that are very common in the western world.
Our goal is to understand where misregulation of physiological dynamics and individual history of an organism come together to cause behavior disorders.  To understand this process on a more fundamental level, I use different tools from time-series analysis to infer underlying principles of appetite regulations. Since these tools translate very well to other scientific fields, such as molecular transport, finance or ecology, I collaborate with scientists on and off campus to understand dynamics in many systems.