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RU-WINS Lecture: Dr. Yeka Aponte, NIDA – “Hypothalamic cell types and circuits that drive survival behaviors”
March 3 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pmFree
Rutgers University Women in Neuroscience (RUWINS) Lecture
Friday, March 3rd, from 12-1pm
“Hypothalamic cell types and circuits that drive survival behaviors”
Dr Yeka Aponte, Senior Investigator at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, The National Institutes of Health
Via zoom (registration link here) – Dr Aponte will be presenting over zoom
In person: Keck Center Conference Room at Nelson Biology Labs, Busch Campus, Piscataway.
Students/postdocs/techs – The talk will be followed by a lunch from 1-2pm (only for trainees) so that folks can get to know the speaker in a smaller group and learn from her at the Keck Center Conference room.
The Aponte lab studies the role of genetically-identified neurons and their projections in behaviors that are essential for survival. Their ultimate goal is to understand how neurons in distinct hypothalamic circuits encode pain and the rewarding and addictive nature of food intake. To answer these questions, they use a combination of optogenetics, chemogenetics, electrophysiology, two- and single-photon fluorescence endomicroscopy, and behavioral assays to manipulate and measure the activity of these genetically-defined neuronal subpopulations in awake behaving mice. Recently, they showed how two of the lateral hypothalamic neuronal populations identified by the expression of the calcium-binding protein parvalbumin (PVALB; LHPV) or leptin receptor (LHLEPR) modulate pain and appetitive behaviors, respectively, in mice. Their work revealed LHPV neurons as regulators of the LH glutamatergic circuitry orchestrating pain behaviors and identified LHLEPR neurons as modulators of a hypothalamic-ventral tegmental midbrain circuit involved in controlling motivation and appetitive behaviors.