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Julio E. Ayala, PhD

Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Research in the Ayala lab focuses on gut-brain interactions that regulate energy balance. Specifically, we are interested in identifying regions in the central nervous system and molecular mechanisms within those regions that mediate the effects of the gut hormone Glucagon-like peptide-1 (Glp1) and related Glp1 receptor (Glp1r) agonists on feeding behavior. Our lab combines transgenic mouse models, targeted pharmacological interventions and state-of-the-art metabolic phenotyping capabilities to address research questions. We aim to extend the technical expertise in the lab to leverage the existing imaging, circuit mapping, electrophysiology and behavioral phenotyping capabilities at Vanderbilt. Other projects in the lab focus on leveraging biochemical and pharmacological properties of the Glp1r towards the design of more effective therapeutics for obesity and diabetes