Rudolph L. Leibel, MD

Head of the Division of Molecular Genetics in the Columbia University Department of Pediatrics and Professor, Columbia University

Addressing

Stem Cell-derived Hypothalamic Neurons in the Elucidation of the Pathogenesis of Human Obesity: A New Frontier

The ability to generate human hypothalamic and other brain region-specific neurons using stem cell-based approaches provides the opportunity to "interrogate" these cells for molecular and structural phenotypes related the control of body weight and other homeostatic functions. Such cells have been generated from patients segregating for mono- or oligo-genic forms of obesity and have enabled the identification of novel molecular-physiological consequences of these mutations. These approaches are now also being used to investigate the function of obesity genes implicated in exome sequencing studies of individuals with extreme, non-syndromic forms of obesity. Stem-cell based approaches allow the vetting of new hypotheses regarding the etiology and treatment of different forms of obesity at levels and with alacrity not previously possible.

Dr. Leibel is Christopher J. Murphy Professor of Diabetes Research and Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, and Head of the Division of Molecular Genetics in the Department of Pediatrics. He is also Co-Director of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, Co-PI of the Diabetes Research Center (DRC) and, PI of the New York Obesity Research Center (NYONRC).


8:30am Stem Cell-derived Hypothalamic Neurons in the Elucidation of the Pathogenesis of Human Obesity: A New Frontier
Rudolph L. Leibel, MD