[ Music ] The brain is an amazingly complex structure made up of thousands of different types of nerve cells, or neurons. These neurons form the basic building blocks that make up thoughts, feelings, and appetites. By understanding how these neurons are formed, we can better understand how they work.
That is what I do. I study how neurons in a cherry-sized part of the brain called the "hypothalamus" are formed. The hypothalamus is a mass deregulator of many behaviors including biological rhythms, sleep, and feeding. My lab has identified genes that control the formation of different types of neurons in the hypothalamus that control biological rhythms and sleep.
In addition, we've identified stem cells in the hypothalamus that regulate feeding and body weight. Taken together, these findings may help pave the way for therapies, for sleep disorders, obesity, and diabetes. [ Music ].
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