The Brierley lab conducts research on the physiological and pathophysiological roles of neuronal signalling pathways within the gut-brain axis. Our work is currently focused on addressing three over-arching questions:
• How does the gut influence behaviour?
• How is gut-brain signalling perturbed in disease states?
• How can mechanistic insights into gut-brain physiology identify novel therapies for disease?
We attempt to answer these questions in transgenic mouse models, using a broad range of complementary systems neuroscience tools. These include activity-dependent genetic labelling, virus-mediated circuit mapping, optogenetic and chemogenetic circuit manipulation, single cell resolution transcriptomics, HPLC lipidomics, calcium imaging, electrophysiology, and high-resolution behavioural and metabolic phenotyping.
We aim to harness the unique power of these cutting-edge tools to address previously intractable questions regarding the neuroanatomy and physiological function of gut-brain circuitry, to determine how dysfunction in these circuits contributes to metabolic diseases such as obesity and cachexia, and to identify novel therapeutic strategies for these indications.