The long-range goal of the Bouret's lab is to study the hormonal and molecular signals that direct development of brain feeding circuits. Research in the Bouret’s lab has directly led to several breakthroughs in the understanding of the complex hormonal signals and neurodevelopmental substrates responsible for appetite regulation. Most notably, we found that metabolic hormones (such as leptin and ghrelin) influence the development and architecture of hypothalamic circuits involved in energy balance regulation. More recently, our lab has discovered a role for autophagy (a cellular process that degrades cytoplasmic materials, including organelles and misfolded proteins) in hypothalamic development and metabolic regulation.
Our current research projects aim at examining the cellular (e.g., ER stress and autophagy) and molecular (e.g., miRNAs, axon guidance cues) events involved in hypothalamic development and lifelong metabolic regulation. Our current research goal is also to study the molecular signals that link nmaternal obesity and the abnormal development of hypothalamic feeding circuits.