Giles studies brain control of body-weight, and currently have two main aims:
1.) To determine a role for FTO in energy balance.
SNPs in FTO are strongly associated with obesity. FTO is nutritionally regulated within the ARC, and modulating FTO expression within the hypothalamus influences food intake. We are studying the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon. We also plan to study other genes that have emerged from obesity genome-wide association studies, focusing on those that are highly expressed in the brain.
2.) Identifying new players in the hypothalamic control of food intake.
Using laser microdissection coupled with microarrays, we have identified novel nutritional regulated genes in the PVN & ARC. Some have well known roles in CNS development but have not yet been linked to control of bodyweight.