Joseph Ahmad Majzoub
The specific aims of the Majzoub laboratory's studies are to analyze beneficial and detrimental effects, and the regulation of, the mammalian stress response, particularly within the brain. Current research focuses on the behavioral and neuroendocrine roles of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), the regulation of CRH gene transcription by silencing factors, and the role of Mrap2 to modulate energy balance during stress.
Our lab's research focuses on how normal physiological responses to various common stressors including psychological stress (Nature, 1995; Mol Psychiatry, 2017) enhance health, and on how these same systems cause disease when dysregulated. We have found corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) released from the same hypothalamic neurons may control both the endocrine and behavioral responses to stress, acting both as a neuroendocrine releasing factor and a neurotransmitter. We have discovered (Science, 2013) a new gene that regulates the melanocortin pathway by interacting with the melanocortin 4 receptor (Mc4r), and whose deficiency in mice and humans leads to obesity, possibly by affecting the efficiency of energy extraction from food via changes in the gut microbiota.
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