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Huxing Cui, PhD

Contact Information:

Office: 2-372 BSB
Phone: 319-335-6954
Faculty Profile

Brief description of current research:

In order to maintain energy homeostasis, the central nervous system must sense and gather information from periphery on energy status and coordinate appropriate responses, ranging from mood and behavior to activity of the autonomic nervous system, to keep balanced energy intake and expenditure. Any disruption in these physiological processes can lead to serious health problems including disordered eating behaviors, obesity and associated chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension. The goal of my research is to better map the complicated network of neural circuits and uncover signaling mechanisms that control metabolic homeostasis and cardiovascular function. To tease apart the complex neural networks and neuronal signaling that control these distinct physiological processes, we employee the state-of-the-art techniques, including in vivo Cre/loxP, optogenetics and chemogenetics, combined with behavioral neuroscience, neuroanatomy, systemic physiology, molecular biology, biochemical assay and electrophysiology. 

Three most influential diabetes/obesity/metabolism publications:

  •  Morgan DA, McDaniel LN, Yin T, Khan MZ, Acevedo MR, Walsh SA, Ponto LB, Norris AW, Lutter M, Rahmouni K, Cui H*. Regulation of Glucose Metabolism and Sympathetic Activity by MC4R Signaling in the Lateral Hypothalamus. Diabetes. 2015 Jan 20.
  •  Cui H, Sohn JW, Gautron L, Funahashi H, Williams KW, Elmquist JK, Lutter M. Neuroanatomy of melanocortin-4 receptor pathway in the lateral hypothalamic area. J Comp Neurol. 2012; 520(18):4168-83.
  •  Cui H, Khan MZ, Anderson RM, McDaniel LN, Wilson HE, Yin T, Radley JJ, Pieper AA, and Lutter M. Behavioral disturbances in estrogen-related receptor alpha-null mice. Cell Rep. 2015 Apr 21;11(3):344-50.