Delineation of the role of brainstem pro-opiomelanocorin neurons in energy balance

Lead Research Organisation: University of Aberdeen
Department Name: Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health

Abstract

Obesity and type 2 diabetes represent major medical and economic challenges of the 21st century. An understanding of the biological mechanisms regulating food consumption is essential to both the successful treatment and prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes. The brain represents the master co-coordinator of energy balance, employing a number of interwoven neurological circuits to continually appraise and respond to changes in nutritional state. The brain melanocortin network is a fundamental regulator of energy homeostasis and serves as a gateway for many of these signals. Therefore, a clear understanding of the precise mechanism through which pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) modulates appetite, food preference, body weight, and blood glucose is of intense interest. The aim of this application is to identify specific POMC neurons responsible for communicating energy balance information and to demonstrate that their manipulation, through state of the art pharmacogenetic and genetic techniques, is of direct relevance to metabolic fitness. We will also examine the impact of diet and adiposity on POMC energy balance circuitry function. Through the identification of primary, critical cells in the brain regulating energy balance, we anticipate that these data will ultimately have translational benefit for the treatment of global metabolic disease.

Technical Summary

The rapid rise in the prevalence of obesity emphasizes the need for a greater understanding of the physiological mechanisms underlying energy homeostasis. Whilst traditional Cre-lox technology has demonstrated pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons to be a critical nexus for the integration of multiple energy balance circuits and fundamental to the physiological control of metabolic health, this approach does not permit functional and temporal dissociation of discrete populations of POMC neurons. Thus, the aim of this project is to establish the distinct role of NTS POMC neurons in the regulation of energy and glucose homeostasis. On the basis of our preliminary data, we hypothesise this population to be a critical component of the central metabolic network. Targeted manipulation of NTS POMC neurons will be facilitated by the use of cutting-edge pharmacogenetic technology (Designer receptor exclusively activated by designer drug - DREADD). This technique affords real-time control of neuronal activity and subsequent insight into their physiological function. Sterotaxic delivery of viral constructs into the NTS of a POMC-Cre mouse line promotes selective expression of DREADD receptors on NTS POMC neurons. Targeted activation/inhibition of these cells in freely behaving mice is induced by the administration of an inert ligand. The cell specific pharmacogenetic manipulation, together with comprehensive metabolic phenotyping (including food intake, diet preference, energy expenditure and glucose homeostasis), affords the opportunity for greater understanding of the physiological salience of brainstem POMC neurons. These data will offer important insight into the discrete neuronal circuits governing energy and glucose homeostasis. Given the pervasiveness of metabolic disease within the global community and the resulting socio-medical ramifications, unravelling the neuronal microcircuits governing the physiological control of energy balance is essential.

Planned Impact

Academic impact
Metabolic health and disease is a continually expanding area of research, in which the UK has arguably been at the forefront. It is a multi-disciplinary field that encompasses neurobiology, physiology, pharmacology, genetics, nutrition and public health. This proposal therefore, has the potential to make a major academic impact, both within the UK and internationally, by furthering our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying metabolic health and disease. In addition to advancing knowledge, the proposed research will provide substantial capacity building by training the field's scientific leaders of tomorrow to encourage the maintenance of the UK's position in this area of scientific research. This will provide the potential for expansion of our research findings into other relevant animal models and incorporation in broader neuroscience, pharmacogenetic, pharmacological and genetic approaches. The research will also provide opportunities for improving teaching and learning of undergraduate and postgraduate students through seminars and research projects.

Economic and societal impacts
Obesity is a major health problem in the UK, both accelerating death and incurring a cost of a half billion a year in direct costs by the government. Obesity is the second largest cause of cancer, substantially increases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and many other medical complications. Currently, only one drug is approved for obesity treatment, Ali, which is a lipase inhibitor. Given the prevalence of obesity worldwide and its health, societal, and economic implications, new treatments are a clinical imperative. In previous research, we addressed this conundrum by investigating a class of compounds, those augmenting 5-HT bioavailability, that have been effective in the clinic for weight loss for approximately the past 15 years. However, these drugs have been withdrawn from clinical use due to off-target effects. We previously determined that the anorectic therapeutic mechanism is via 5-HT activation of a discrete class of receptors 5-HT2Cs, expressed on a chemically defined population of neurons, pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) (e.g. Heisler et al., Science 2002; Xu et al., Neuron 2008; Xu et al., J. Neuroscience 2010). This work further stimulated and supported drug discovery efforts for 5-HT2C receptor agonists at multiple pharmaceutical companies, including Arena. Arena's compound, lorcaserin, went through phase 3 clinical trials, effectively reduced body weight and was reviewed by the FDA, but not approved last year. This drug activates all 5-HT2C receptors, not just those discretely expressed on POMC neurons. Here we propose to evaluate the role of activation or inhibition of a specific population of POMC neurons in energy balance in real-time. An advantage of the new pharmacogenetic technology that we are employing over the traditional Cre-lox system is regional and temporal refinement. We speculate that directly targeting brainstem POMC cells will provide an effective new pharmacological target for the treatment of metabolic disease. In fact, we have already observed unique characteristics that distinguish this population of POMC neurons from those expressed elsewhere in the brain. Therefore, there may be opportunities for the commercialisation of new diagnostics (identifying individuals at risk of metabolic disease) and therapeutics (targeting specific POMC neurons). The proposed research may inform and benefit the pharmaceutical sector through access to new knowledge, technology development and databases. Thus it has the potential to enhance the knowledge economy and economic competitiveness of the UK. The research is also readily accessible to the general public, because of its immediate relevance to improving health and well being and enhancing quality of life. The project therefore provides an excellent vehicle for increasing public engagement and understanding.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description We are investigating the means through which appetite is controlled within the brain, with a particular emphasis on a brain region called the nucleus of the solitary tract. We have observed that a brain chemical made in the region called POMC influences appetite. We have also found that a new obesity medication reduces food intake by stimulating this brain chemical. We also observed that this new obesity medication also improves diabetes, and moreover, that this new effect is achieved through the brain chemical POMC. These findings further our understanding of the way that appetite and blood sugar is controlled and offer new directions for the treatment of obesity and diabetes.
Exploitation Route We have identified that a 5-HT2C receptor agonist used for obesity treatment in the USA activates NTS POMC neurons to reduce appetite. This work has further clarified not only how an obesity medication works, but also the function of the brain structure the NTS in energy homeostasis (i.e. advancing functional neurobiology). The next steps are to clarify how this circuit links with other established regulators of energy homeostasis to drive feeding behaviour and body weight regulation. We have taken some of these first steps and have identified other brain circuits that regulate energy homeostasis and blood glucose, as detailed above. The opportunity now is to consider points with the greatest therapeutic potential.
Sectors Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

URL https://www.molecularmetabolism.com/60s_metabolist.php
 
Description Our preliminary findings have thus far been used to stimulate discussion following the numerous invited talks and media coverage that inform (educate) the public about the development of obesity.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Education
Impact Types Societal

 
Description Chair of evaluation commission of proposed new Helmholtz Institute
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Chair of the review commission, Helmholtz Imaging and Curing Environmental Metabolic Diseases (ICEMED)
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact this committee evaluated the progress of an Institute and recommended changes for restructure to improve the regulatory environment.
 
Description Eisai Inc Scientific Advisory Board
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Rowett Institutional Executive Committee
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
Impact The Rowett Institute was restructured and I was appointed head of my research theme, Obesity and Food Choice. I sit on the Rowett Executive Committee where we decide on Institutional strategy and policy.
 
Description Confidence in Concept
Amount £35,000 (GBP)
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2015 
End 09/2016
 
Description Discovery Award
Amount £450,000 (GBP)
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2016 
End 12/2017
 
Description Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship
Amount € 195,000 (EUR)
Organisation European Research Council (ERC) 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 02/2016 
End 01/2018
 
Description Wellcome Trust Enhancement
Amount £197,000 (GBP)
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2015 
End 05/2017
 
Title CRISPR/Cas9 POMC knockdown 
Description We have generated a CRISPR/Cas9 contract that genetically inactivates POMC. We have validated this and have generated data that is currently under review at a scientific journal. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Once this is published, we will make the tool available to other researchers. The impact arising from this is the ability to selectively inactivate POMC in vivo, ex vivo or in vitro and evaluating the effect on cell activity or physiology/behaviour. we can now apply this to other genes, such as Bdnf. 
 
Description Dr Martin Myers and Prof Malcolm Low 
Organisation University of Michigan
Department Brehm Center for Diabetes Research
Country United States 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution We investigted POMC neurones in the NTS expressing serotonin 5-HT2C receptors and leptin receptors. We found that these neurons project to the parabrachial nucleus (PBN). We examined neurons within the PBN and identified a subpopulation of cells that express CCK. Using DREADD-Gq in CCK-Cre mice, we then investigated whether PBN CCK neurons influence food intake. We discovered that they do not influence food intake, but rather control blood glucose. Martin Myers was also examining the function of leptin receptors in the PBN and likewise found that this receptor likewise impacts glucose homeostasis. We combined our data and pursued this further, which led to the publication below. We also investigated the impact of POMC ARC neurons in 5-HT2CR appetite regulation with Malcolm Low. We did the work and he provided the POMC mouse model.
Collaborator Contribution Dr Myers contributed the LepRb PBN work. Prof Malcolm Low contributed the POMC mouse model.
Impact PMID: 30146485 PMID: 29914853 PMID: 29031711 PMID: 29031711 PMID:27882999 PMID: 27516377 PMID: 26977396 PMID: 25470549 PMID: 25383904 PMID: 22869346 PMID: 22055500 PMID: 21531340
Start Year 2013
 
Description Dr Tom Kash 
Organisation University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Department Department of Pharmacology
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Using our unique reagents, we investigated the role of 5-HT2C receptors in the bed nucleus of the stria terminals (BNST) in behaviour. Activating these receptors also produced a brief effect on appetitive behaviour. However, we found that influencing these receptors primarily impacted anxiety-related behaviour. We also found that the 5-HT2C receptors are expressed with CRF neurons within the BNST. We combined our data with Tom Kash's investigating the 5-HT regulation of CRF neurons within the BSNT in anxiety-like behaviour, which led to a research output (below).
Collaborator Contribution Using the latest technology, Dr Kash defined an anxiety and fear neurocircuit through which 5-HT and CRF impact behaviour.
Impact Marcinkiewcz CA, Mazzone CM, D'Agostino G, Halladay LR, Hardaway JA, DiBerto JF..Kash TL. (2016). Serotonin engages an anxiety and fear-promoting circuit in the extended amygdala. Nature, 537 (7618), pp. 97-101
Start Year 2014
 
Description Dr Yong Xu 
Organisation Baylor College of Medicine
Department Department of Neurology
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We investigated the role of the 5-HT2C receptors in appetitive behaviour within the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the brain. We discovered that altering the activity of these receptors in the brain reduced food reward and also improved binge eating behaviour. We combined our binge eating data with Dr Xu's data investigating 5-HT inputs to the VTA.
Collaborator Contribution Dr Xu examined 5-HT inputs to the VTA and the role of 5-HT in binge eating behaviour. This led to a publication in 2016 (below).
Impact Xu P, He Y, Cao X, Valencia-Torres L, Yan X, Saito K..Xu Y. (2016). Activation of Serotonin 2C Receptors in Dopamine Neurons Inhibits Binge-like Eating in Mice. Biological psychiatry,
Start Year 2014
 
Description Mark Evans, University of Cambridge 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Designed experiments, undertook research, presented data and drafted manuscript for publication
Collaborator Contribution undertook experimentation and contributed to the drafting of a manuscript for publication
Impact PMID: 29031711
Start Year 2016
 
Description Prof Sue Ozanne 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department Institute of Metabolic Science (IMS)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Prof Sue Ozanne group has collaborated with our group on a project investigating developmental programming of obesity which led to a publication published in 2016. We trained the lead author on the publication on neuroanatomical assessment methods. We also generated data related to the role of POMC, 5-HT2C and 5-HT2A receptors in the developmental programming of obesity.
Collaborator Contribution Prof Ozanne's group generated the models in which we measured POMC, 5-HT2C and 5-HT2A receptor expression within the brain.
Impact Martin-Gronert MS, Stocker CJ, Wargent ET, Cripps RL, Garfield AS, Jovanovic Z, D'Agostino G, Yeo GS, Cawthorne MA, Arch JR, Heisler LK, Ozanne SE. 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptors as hypothalamic targets of developmental programming in male rats. Dis Model Mech. 2016 Jan 14. [Epub ahead of print]
Start Year 2013
 
Description University of Naples Federico II 
Organisation University of Naples
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We collaborated with Prof Antonio Calignano to study PPAR-alpha, which plays a fundamental role in the regulation of lipid homeostasis. Though we were interested in lipid homeostasis, we uncovered an unexpected role of brain PPAR-alpha in the regulation of cognitive behaviour. Specifically, we observed that genetic Ppar-alpha inactivation promoted rewiring of cortical and hippocampal brain regions which contributed to a cognitive phenotype comparable to other mouse models of schizophrenia and autism. We improved behaviour in Ppar-alpha null mice through treatment with current schizophrenia and autism medications. Revealing the translational potential of our findings, we observed that PPAR-alpha agonist treatment improved behaviour in mouse models of psychosis and autism. These data thereby reveal an unforeseen therapeutic application of PPAR-alpha agonists, a class of drugs already in human use.
Collaborator Contribution None.
Impact D'Agostino G, Cristiano C, Lyons DJ, Citraro R, Russo E, Avagliano C, Russo R, Raso GM, Meli R, De Sarro G, Heisler LK, Calignano A. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha plays a crucial role in behavioral repetition and cognitive flexibility in mice. Mol Metab. 2015 May 2;4(7):528-36.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Brain and gut interaction in obesity workshop, Sydney, Australia 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The talk stimulated questions and discussion.

I met with students afterwards who were interested in joining my research group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Broomhill school visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 60 primary pupils attended a presentation by Prof Heisler with the objective of stimulating interest in science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Café Med lecture series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Approximately 100 people attended a cafe med lecture about the brain and appetite regulation and possible new obesity medications.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.abdn.ac.uk/engage/public/cafe-med-110.php
 
Description Café Scientifique - Can our brain help us shed those holiday party pounds? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Over 100 people attended my talk about my research related to the BBSRC funded research at a public engagement lecture.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.meetup.com/Aberdeen-Entertainment/events/236243212/
 
Description Cell Biology Seminar Imperial College London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Approximately 60 people attended this seminar in which I presented data related to the funded proposal.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://twitter.com/i/web/status/821705609154297856
 
Description Conference co-organiser, Keystone meeting Neuronal Control of Appetite, Metabolism and Weight 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Lead co-organiser of prestigious Keystone conference. Conference held in Copenhagen, Denmark was entitled Neuronal Control of Appetite, Metabolism and Weight. Feedback was very positive and led to invitation to join Keystone conference Scientific Advisory Board as an Ad Hoc member. Attended this advisory meeting in Denver, Co in 2018 which decided on future Keystone meetings and their organisers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.keystonesymposia.org/17Z5
 
Description Conference co-organiser, Neurobiology of Obesity Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Lead co-organiser of a meeting focussed on the Neurobiology of Obesity. Meeting was attended by a little over 100 delegates (scientists, practitioners and journal editors). Feedback was extremely positive and requests were made to make this an annual event. Another meeting is now scheduled for 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.abdn.ac.uk/events/nos-aberdeen/
 
Description EMBL - Rome, Italy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact talk stimulated interest and discussion

I met with students and discussed research and careers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Edinburgh Science Festival: Harvesting for Health 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Participated in an event led by the Rowett Institute to raise awareness about various cardiovascular and nutritional health issues and to explain to the attendees about the research that is carried out at this institute. During this event, PhD student Teodora Georgescu and other lab members helped to run various activities highlighting gut and cardiovascular health.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description European College of Neuropsychopharmacology 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Nutrition network established by ECNP to bring together scientists and food manufacturers to foster new research directions and discoveries related to appetite neurocircuitry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.ecnp.eu/research-innovation/ECNP-networks/List-ECNP-Networks/Nutrition.aspx
 
Description Expert consultant, BBC radio interview "You can't outrun a bad diet." 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact BBC Radio interview about the effect of physical activity on body weight.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Expert consultant, The Telegraph 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview about dieting.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/health/protein-diets-intensive-workouts-or-grapes-the-weight-loss-m...
 
Description Food on your mind 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The talk prompted questions and discussion.

After the talk, I was approached by a few people who wanted to discuss working with me. One wanted to volunteer in the lab and another group of engineers/software designers wanted to talk about devising a product that could aid in weight management.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.abdn.ac.uk/events/5009/
 
Description Hypothalamic Circuits for Control of Survival Behaviors, Janelia Farm Research Campus, Maryland USA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact conference Talk Title: Hypothalamic actions of neuropeptides in appetite control
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society, Uppsala, Sweeden 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Conference Talk Title: Subset of Pomc peptides controlling ingestive behaviour and body weight
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.ibangs.org
 
Description International Student Research Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Keynote talk at student event - Talk title: Navigating the brain atlas of hunger
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Invited Keynote, von Hofsten meeting, Uppsala University, Sweden 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Gave Keynote address for von Hofsten meeting, Uppsala University, Sweden and spoke about my research related to the BBSRC funded work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Invited tak, European Association for the Study of Diabetes 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited talk at EASD with media press release. Talk given to an audience of approximately 400.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.easd.org/annual-meeting/easd-2017.html
 
Description Invited talk, Biochemical Society meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited talk given to approximately 100 people attended a meeting hosted by the Biochemical Society called - Insulin and exercise signalling for glucose homeostasis and metabolic health.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.biochemistry.org/Events/tabid/379/Filter/64/MeetingNo/SA202/view/Conference/Default.aspx
 
Description Invited talk, British Endocrine Society annual meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited talk at the British Endocrine Society Annual meeting.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.endocrinology.org/events/sfe-bes-conference/sfe-bes-2017/
 
Description Invited talk, Cell Symposia: Metabolic Disease Therapies, San Diego, CA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Invited talk at Cell Symposia: Metabolic Disease Therapies, which was attended by approximately 300 scientists, journal editors and members of industry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.cell-symposia.com/metabolic-therapies-2017/
 
Description Invited talk, European Association for the Study of Diabetes, Oxford, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact workshop Talk title: Circadian feeding patterns modulated by the serotonin system
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Invited talk, G protein coupled receptor workshop, Hawaii 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited talk given at a GPCR focussed meeting attended by approximately 300 delegates (scientists, members of industry and journal editors).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.gpcrworkshop.com
 
Description Invited talk, Mediterranean Neuroscience Society annual meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited talk to an audience of approximately 75 delegates (scientists, journal editors and members of industry).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.mnsmeeting2017.com
 
Description Invited talk, Molecular Pharmacology Gordon Research Conference, Italy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact More than 200 academics, students, journal editors, industry leaders heard my presentation about my research and this sparked discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007
URL https://www.grc.org/meetings.aspx?year=2017
 
Description Invited talk, Robert Gordons College school visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 60 pupils attended a presentation and activity by Prof Heisler and Dr Rochford about the regulation of energy homeostasis and body weight.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description MRC Workshop on Obesity 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact the purpose of this workshop devised by the MRC was to reconsider the MRC's strategic priorities for obesity research and to formulate new priorities to promote research in areas that will create the greatest advances.

We prepared a document regarding what national obesity experts attending the workshop consider to be the most important strategic priorities. This will be presented to the MRC policy makers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Media 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact International media coverage of paper by Flak et al.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/aberdeen/466860/aberdeen-uni-scientists-discover-new-brain...
 
Description Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology Seminar Series, University College London, London UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Approximately 50 people attended my presentation of research related to the funded proposals.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/biosciences/biosciences-events-publication/2016-2017/seminar-lora-heisler/
 
Description Obesity workshop, Oxford 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Post doc Giuseppe D'Agostino's talk was very well received and stimulated a lot of interest and discussion.

Postdoc Giuseppe D'Agostino made links with a laboratory at Yale University who were pursuing similar new techniques. He travelled to Yale to directly receive training in the new techniques, which he has successfully implemented now at the University of Aberdeen.

I have also since been invited to participate in a similar workshop (on a different theme) in Europe.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.easd.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=85:oxfordws&catid=14:sample-data-ar...
 
Description Oregon Health Sciences University, USA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact talk sparked questions and discussion.

I met with students who were interested in my research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Press Release and international media coverage Burke et al. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Burke et al., Mol Metab Feb 2016 Press Release. International multi-media coverage: (TV: STV and others), radio interviews (BBC and others), newspapers (The Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Sun, The Herald (front page), The Mirror,
Washington Post and more than 60 others), magazines (multiple), online news sites
(multiple). Covered in more than 5 languages and multiple countries.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.abdn.ac.uk/news/8650/
 
Description Serotonin Symposium, South Africa 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The talk was very well received and sparked quite a lot of interest and discussion in the audience.

After Giuseppe's talk, we were approached to open up a new collaboration. The talk led to a new collaboration with a group in the USA who were interested in using the research tools that we have generated. This is now active.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.serotoninclub.org/ISSR%20Programme%20Final%202.pdf
 
Description The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The talk led to specific questions about the brain control of appetite and how to manage hunger.

Practitioners said that they would follow my research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Twitter Chat, Rowettchat 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A live twitter chat with the public that answered questions about the brain, food intake and body weight regulation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://twubs.com/rowettchat
 
Description UK Congress on Obesity 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk stimulated questions and discussion.

After the talk, students approached me to discuss my work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.aso.org.uk/conferences/aso-uk-congress-on-obesity-2014/
 
Description Wellcome Trust Researcher Spotlight 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interviewed for Wellcome Trust blog about my research programme.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://blog.wellcome.ac.uk/2015/04/27/researcher-spotlight-professor-lora-heisler/