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In Person Seminar: Developmental Programming of Neuroendocrine Integration

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Richard Simerly, Ph.D.

Louise B. McGavock Professor, Department of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
Scientific Director, Vanderbilt Neurovisualization Laboratory
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

In Person Pioneers in Biomedical Research Seminar: Developmental Programming of Neuroendocrine Integration

April 15, 2022

11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.


About this Seminar

Goal-directed behavioral decisions are the result of the neural integration of signals from the external environment (e.g. sight, taste, smell) and interosensory information that signals internal state to the brain. Interosensory information is conveyed to key circuit nodes responsible for goal directed behaviors by a complex system of neural connections, and the activity of these pathways has a significant impact on prioritization of external cues and adaptive responses. Hypothalamic neural networks maintain homeostasis by coordinating endocrine signals with behavioral and autonomic functions to ensure that behaviors and physiological responses remain in tune with environmental demands. Because the architecture of neural circuits determines how they function, we need to achieve a comprehensive understanding of how neural systems responsible for neuroendocrine integration are organized and determine how developmental events impact their construction and functional properties. By evaluating the impact of early hormonal and nutritional challenges on the brain-wide organization of these essential neural systems, and by profiling neuronal responses to varied interosensory stimuli, we are gaining insight into neurobiological mechanisms underlying developmental programming of neuroendocrine integration within the functional context of feeding behavior, with direct implications for obesity.

Additional Details

This is a free event hosted by the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and co-sponsored by the institute's Center for Neurobiology Research. The Pioneers in Biomedical Research Seminar Series, which runs annually from September to May, has featured leading biomedical researchers from throughout the country since the program began in 2012. The lectures are also open to all members of the Virginia Tech community including graduate students, undergraduates, faculty, and staff, as well as the public.

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