Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Professor Ana Domingos has been awarded a highly competitive independent research grant from Pfizer to discover ‘the role of Sympathetic-associated Perineurial barrier Cells in obesity’.

Ana DomingosThe Domingos Group specialises in the study of sympathetic neurons and what goes wrong with these neurons in the context of obesity. In 2015, Professor Ana Domingos and her team discovered that these neurons are essential for the biology of the adipose tissue by uncovering the sympathetic neuro-adipose junction, a functional synapse-like connection between white adipocytes and the sympathetic nervous system, which is required for the reduction of fat mass.

The Domingos lab has now discovered the existence of another population of cells that are hypothesised to be controlling the biology of sympathetic neurons. With a new Global Obesity ASPIRE competitive grant from Pfizer, the research team will study the role of perineurial cells and how they cross talk with sympathetic neurons and adipocytes to control fat mass. If researchers can better understand the biology behind this cross talk, the hope is that potential drug targets can be identified in future research.

Pfizer Global Medical Grants (GMG) aims to support independent initiatives from the global healthcare community to improve patient outcomes in areas of unmet medical need. The selection process for the latest public Request for Proposal (RFO) was very competitive, with just 2.5% of applicants receiving a research grant. The GMG panel recognised that uncovering the role of sympathetic-associated perineurial barrier cells in controlling body weight is an important question and is supported by a large amount of strong preliminary data already generated by the Domingos Group. Consequently, the GMG awarded $250K to fund Professor Domingos and her lab for the next three years, one of just give proposals to receive funding.

Professor Ana Domingos said: "Pfizer is funding curiosity-driven research on mechanisms that are related to the homeostasis of body weight. The earlier the research stage that is being funded, the more likely it is that you are going to make meaningful discoveries that can change the approach to obesity related diseases. I believe this grant will lead us to understanding the sympathetic nervous system better, and also to understanding why sympathetic neurons are dying. Why are they dying in the process of obesity? And can we stop that? To answer this question, we need to understand what are the key players and variables in this equation."

More information on Pfizer's Competitive Grants Program.

 

 

Similar stories

Mootaz Salman set to target new treatments for stroke

The Chief Scientist Office of the Government of Scotland has awarded a collaborative grant of £298,966 to Dr Mootaz Salman to seek new therapeutic avenues to treat stroke.

Gero Miesenböck awarded 2023 Japan Prize

Congratulations are in order for Professor Gero Miesenböck, who has been awarded the 2023 Japan Prize in the field of Life Sciences, together with Professor Karl Deisseroth, for pioneering work in the field of optogenetics.

Mootaz Salman receives prestigious science award from Iraq

Congratulations are in order for Dr Mootaz Salman, who has received the National Medal of Distinctive Scientific Achievement by the Government of Iraq.

Professor Denis Noble awarded the Lomonosov Gold Medal

The Russian Academy of Sciences has awarded its highest accolade, the Lomonosov Gold Medal, to Emeritus Professor Denis Noble CBE, FRS.

Professor Dame Frances Ashcroft awarded the Manpei Suzuki International Prize for Diabetes Research

The 2022 Manpei Suzuki International Prize for Diabetes Research recognises original and excellent achievements in diabetes research. Professor Ashcroft is the first women to win in the 15 years this prestigious Prize has been awarded.