Brandon Roberts, Ph.D.
My research interests focus on basic and translational research involving the synaptic mechanisms, neural circuits, and behaviors underlying metabolic dysregulation, development, and their relationship with circadian rhythms. I earned my BS in Neuroscience from Washington State University where I actively pursued research in the lab of Dr. Sue Ritter, studying hindbrain and hypothalamic circuits related to energy metabolism. With a desire to link behavior and neurophysiology I continued my research path under the mentorship of Dr. Suzanne Appleyard, where I utilized brain slice electrophysiology to decipher the relationship between glucose and serotonin signaling in hindbrain catecholamine neurons, a subpopulation that receives direct information from our gut and orchestrates the distribution of this information throughout the rest of the brain. In an effort to apply this knowledge toward the development of therapeutics for obesity and diabetes I pursued my first postdoctoral fellowship at Oregon Health & Science University under Dr. Kevin Grove and Dr. Paul Kievit.I engaged in multiple industry and academic collaborations, utilizing primate and rodent data to develop new therapeutic targets. I also gained a heavy interest in the development of these metabolic circuits and how early overnutrition alters hormone signaling, neurodevelopment, and the lifelong consequences of over-eating during childhood. There is an undeniable link between circadian rhythms, metabolic state, and health outcomes. To bridge the gap between these fields, I made the long journey across the country to join the lab of Dr. Ilia Karatsoreos at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. We have many exciting projects in the works, relating disruption in daily rhythms to changes in neurophysiology, stress, and metabolism. Outside of science, I enjoy writing music with friends, backpacking through the mountains, and traveling to experience new cultures.