Hypothalamus is the integrating center for diverse physiological functions, including metabolism, sleep, sexual behaviors, circadian rhythms and endocrine secretion. Malfunctioning of the hypothalamic circuits can lead to a variety of disorders. Our goal is to combine electrophysiology, mouse genetics and in vivo imaging to deconstruct the functional circuits that regulate metabolism and how the circuits respond during the pathophysiological conditions.
Large-scale epidemiology studies and genetic analysis have revealed that many mutations in ion channel genes are associated with human diseases. Combining patch clamp recording with molecular and cell biology, we are investigating the functional pathophysiology of the channelopathies. Currently we are focusing on the ion channel mutations that are associated with diseases of the endocrine and nervous system.