The Bocarsly lab uses a systems level approach to identify the neural substrates, circuits, and behavioral motivations driving food intake and their contributions to the development of disease states such as compulsive overeating, obesity, and anorexia. To do this, the laboratory uses a combination of novel transgenic mouse lines, optogenetics, chemogenetics, in vivo fiber photometry, molecular techniques, ex vivo brain slice fast-scan cyclic voltammetry, and fiber photometry, as well as behavior using mouse models.

Dopamine D2 receptors in the lateral hypothalamus and their role in dysregulated feeding

Obesity poses a growing public health issue, and it is becoming increasingly evident that this addictive state of eating may be associated with dysregulation in dopaminergic reward pathways. Using transgenic mice and stereotaxic surgery, we are investigating the role of the dopamine D2 receptor in the lateral hypothalamus, the "feeding center" of the brain.