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Our group studies how the nervous system controls energy and glucose metabolism. Ongoing research focuses on addressing key issues in neuroscience, metabolism, and medicine:

1)     We explore the neural circuits that regulate appetitive behaviors (e.g., Park et al., Nature Neuroscience, 2020; Yoo et al., Cell Reports, 2021; Li et al., Journal of Experimental Medicine, 2022) to develop new therapeutic strategies for treating obesity and diabetes.

2)     We study neurodevelopment in the hypothalamus, identifying novel genetic deficits responsible for severe, early-onset obesity in children (e.g., Chen et al., Journal of Neuroscience, 2020).

3)     Additionally, our group is one of the few labs that conduct NIH-sponsored research on antipsychotic drugs (APDs)-induced metabolic syndrome (e.g., Lord et al., Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2017; Li et al., Journal of Experimental Medicine, 2021), a critical clinical problem currently affecting millions of patients.

Research Interest

  • Antipsychotic drug induced metabolic syndrome
  • Brain serotonin and serotonin receptors
  • Genetics of human obesity


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Honors & Awards

  • Junior Investigator Award
    Chinese American Diabetes Association (2022)
  • Grossman Award for Excellence in Diabetes Research
  • Scientist Development Award
    American Heart Association (2016)
  • Doctoral Excellence Award
    Case Western Reserve University (2011)
  • Fellowship Award
    Davis Foundation in Eating Disorder Research (2011)
  • The President's Award
    Case Western Reserve University (2008)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Diabetes Association (2023)
  • American Heart Association (2013)
  • International Society for Serotonin Research (2023)
  • Society for Neuroscience (2008)
  • The Obesity Society (2016)