Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
(Columbia University Medical Center,
Department of Endocrinology, Neuroendocrine Unit)
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions and is reported to be a major risk for noncommunicable diseases (e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular disease etc) and the 5th leading risk for global deaths by the World Health Organization. Contrary to the popular view that obesity is caused solely by either genetic mutations or lack of will power of obese individuals, today there is growing evidence that obesity has a multifactorial etiology which, in addition to its genetic and psychological substrates, includes neurochemical, environmental, physiological and cognitive factors as well that are also not always easily dissociable from one another. Thus, a combined approach is needed to understand the underlying mechanisms involved in the etiology of obesity. This may lead successful public health prevention strategies, anti-obesity treatments (e.g. surgical, cognitive, pharmacotherapy etc) and prognoses geared towards individuals. In this talk, various aspects of obesity and eating behavior, including a wide array of studies; from pre-clinical/basic research with animals models to clinical trials and neuroimaging studies in humans, will be discussed. In addition to having a snapshot of the multivariate nature of obesity etiology, the audience will also gain insights on how obesity is a great research tool to understand about the brain and its communication with the periphery and the complexity of how much our brain is involved in this epidemic phenomenon.
P.S.: The seminar will be held in English.