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2015 Neuroscience Institute Symposium at UTHSC To Focus on the Neurobiology of Appetite


Understanding appetite is key to unlocking the grip of obesity. The Neuroscience Institute at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) will host a symposium on Tuesday, April 21, focusing on how the brain controls the appetite, and thus influences obesity.

The 2015 Neuroscience Institute Symposium, titled “The Neurobiology of Appetite: Shedding the Light on Obesity,” will be held from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Room A203 of the UTHSC General Education Building, 8 South Dunlap. The free symposium is open to health care professionals and the public.

“Obesity is a national problem that is disproportionately prevalent in Memphis, and increasingly more common among children,” said William Armstrong, PhD, director of the Neuroscience Institute and a professor in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at UTHSC. “Treating some of the risk factors associated with obesity, such as diabetes or hypertension, does little to control its main cause – overeating, and more particularly, eating highly sugary and fatty foods. Increasingly, scientists point to the brain as the key to understanding the relationship between appetite, diet and obesity.”

Among topics to be examined are the brain regions and chemicals that control eating; how time-restricted feeding can prevent and control metabolic disease; and how diet relates to brain activity and may influence hunger and satiety signals.

Speakers include Joan C. Han, MD, associate professor in the UTHSC Department of Pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology, and founding director of the UT Le Bonheur Pediatric Obesity Program; John D. Boughter, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at UTHSC; Satchidananda Panda, PhD, associate professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California; Kristen O’Connell, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Physiology at UTHSC; and Richard D. Palmiter, PhD, professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Register at https://www.uthsc.edu/neuroscience/symposia.php. Lunch will be provided.