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Lipid metabolism researcher Kaveh Ashrafi on academic exchange at KIZ
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2015-01-04

On September 22, 2014, fat metabolism expert and geneticist Kaveh Ashrafi of the University of California San Francisco, was invited by KIZ’s animal models and human disease mechanisms lab to present on his latest research. His report was entitled “An ancient mechanism linking metabolism to neural functions.” Popular opinion would have the public believe that the more a person consumes, the fatter that person will likely be, but Dr. Ashrafi has shown that this truism is not accurate. He discovered in early 2008 that eating more food doesn’t always lead to the growth of fat cells. His findings opened the possibility of a drug-based solution for weight loss and weight management. More recently, Dr. Ashrafi’s research has focused on the neutrotransmitter serotonin, which plays an important role in mood and appetite regulation. He found that in the worm C. elegans, which shares half its genes with humans, serotonin regulates fat storage and appetite through separate channels. If this same mechanism is present in humans, it opens up the possibility of regulating fat storage through drugs.

(By Andrew Willden) 

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