Kristy Townsend

The Townsend Lab is interested in how the brain coordinates energy balance and how the central and peripheral nervous systems undergo plasticity. This research impacts the study of obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, aging, and neurodegenerative diseases. We utilize both in vitro and in vivo models, in the fields of neurobiology, metabolism & biochemistry, physiology & endocrinology, and cell/molecular biology. Townsend’s work includes the following topics: obesity and body weight regulation; hypothalamic and extra-hypothalamic control of appetite; CNS fuel utilization and energetics; dietary effects on energy balance; control of adipose tissue development and function (brown and white adipose tissues); activation of energy expenditure via peripheral nerve activity in adipose depots; adult neural stem cells; neurotrophic factors and neuropathy; and central and peripheral neural plasticity.