Dr Samuel Malone, a Postdoctoral Research Scientist in the Domingos Group, has been awarded the Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellowship, funded by the European Commission, to fund the next two years of his research.
The sympathetic nervous system innervates all peripheral tissues, including adipose tissue, with neuro-adipose junctions mediating lipolysis and fat mass reduction. In response to a single stimulus, sympathetic responses are tissue-specific although the neuroanatomical origins and what mediates this heterogeneity is unknown.
Dr Malone aims to understand the innervation of this system and how maternal environment may regulate its development.
To do so, he will use viral tracers coupled with tissue clearing to develop a molecular map of adipose tissue and its sympathetic innervation. He will also functionally manipulate these neurons using a double-conditional chemogenetic mouse model that will allow the targeting and activation of a subpopulation of sympathetic neurons that innervate adipose tissue.
These studies will help to explain how adipose architecture and physiology change with the onset of obesity; informing the basis for metabolism and peripheral neuroscience research, and becoming a key resource for future physiological and mechanistic studies.
This fellowship will give serious momentum to my research and hopefully allow us to develop new and exciting theories about the sympathetic control of obesity. The opportunity to conduct it here in a world leading department such as DPAG with Associate Professor Ana Domingos is a great honour. - Dr Malone
More information on the Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellowship is available here.