Logo for University of Iowa Health Care This logo represents the University of Iowa Health Care

Huxing Cui, PhD

Associate Professor
Neuroscience and Pharmacology

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

Lab: 2-300 BSB

Lab Website: https://medicine.uiowa.edu/pharmacology/profile/huxing-cui

Neurobiology of eating disorders, obesity, and cardiovascular function

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 the 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 including diabetes and hypertension. The overall goal of my research is to delineate complicated neural networks and uncover signaling mechanisms that control metabolic homeostasis and cardiovascular function. To tease apart the complex brain circuits and intraneuronal signaling mechanisms 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. Ongoing research projects in the lab include: 1) delineate lateral hypothalamic leptin and melanocortin circuits in feeding, energy metabolism, and cardiovascular function and 2) understand the neurobiology of eating disorders by pursuing the roles of orphan nuclear receptor ESRRA which we have previously found to be genetically associated with eating disorders in human.

PubMed link

Department/Program Affiliations:
Molecular Medicine
Neuroscience and Pharmacology