The global obesity epidemic poses a major public health issue, because obesity increases the risk of numerous health consequences, such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and coronary heart diseases. Leptin is a hormone secreted exclusively by fat. Leptin deficiency leads to massive obesity that can be cured by leptin replacement therapy. Non-leptin-deficient obese patients, however, develop high serum leptin levels and do not respond to leptin treatment, indicating a state of leptin resistance. One direction of the lab focuses on the leptin signaling pathway and mechanisms of central leptin resistance. Another direction is to use bioinformatics approaches to study the molecular evolution of human obesity related genes. Students will be exposed to techniques of molecular biology, cell culture and mouse genetics.