Lori Zeltser, PhD

Lori Zeltser, PhD

Research Interest

The Zeltser lab studies how developmental influences exert lasting impacts on body weight regulation and susceptibility to metabolic and eating disorders. Two current areas of focus are (1) sympathetic circuits controlling brown adipose tissue function and protection from metabolic dysregulation and (2) neural circuits in the brain that regulate stress-related eating behaviors. As a byproduct of efforts to simultaneously evaluate feeding and anxiety-related phenotypes in our experiments, we serendipitously uncovered a sex-specific circuit in the amygdala that mediates vulnerability of females to chronic social isolation. In each of these projects, our ultimate goal is to identify molecular and neuroanatomical pathways that mediate the effects of early exposure to psychological stress and obesogenic diets on disease risk in adulthood.

  • A.B., 1989 Molecular Biology; School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • PhD, 1996 Molecular and Developmental Biology; The Rockefeller University, New York
  • Postdoc, 1996-1999 Kings College London
  • Postdoc, 2000-2006 Columbia University
  • Course Director for Molecular and Cell Biology and Nutrients G4020
  • Co-Director of the PhD Program in Nutritional and Metabolic Biology
  • Domonique Bozec, Senior Staff Associate
  • Alexis Fohn, PhD student
  • Marie Francois, Associate Research Scientist
  • Danya Jacobs, Undergraduate student
  • Natalie Lopatinsky, Technician
  • Daniele Neri, PhD student
  • Lucas Souza, Associate Research Scientist
  • Kelly Vranich, Technician

Neri D., Lee S., Ramos Lobo A., Lafonde A., and Zeltser L.M. (2023) Rearing mice at 22°C programs increased capacity to respond to chronic exposure to cold but not high fat diet. Molecular Metabolism 73:101740. PMC10248272.

François M., Canal Delgado I., Shargorodsky N., Leu C.S. and Zeltser L.M.  (2022) Assessing effects of stress on feeding behaviors in laboratory mice. eLife. 11:e70271.

François, M., Fernández-Gayol, O. and Zeltser, L.M. (2021) A framework for developing translationally relevant animal models of stress-induced changes in eating behavior. Biological Psychiatry Jul 3: S0006-3223(21)01428-1.

Zeltser, L.M. (2018) Feeding circuit development and early life influences on future feeding behavior. Nature Reviews of Neuroscience. Apr 17;19(5):302-316. PMID: 29662204.

Madra, M. and Zeltser L.M.  (2016) BDNF-Val66Met variant and adolescent stress interact to promote susceptibility to anorexic behavior in mice. Translational Psychiatry Apr 5;6:e776.

Zeltser, L.M. (2015) Developmental influences on circuits programming susceptibility to obesity. Front Neuroendocrinol. 39:17-27. PMID:26206662. Free PMC article.

Lerea J.S., Ring, L.E., Hassouna, R., Chong, A.C.N., Szigeti-Buck K, Horvath, T.L. and Zeltser, L.M. (2015) Reducing adiposity in a critical developmental window has lasting benefits in mice. Endocrinology 157(2):666-78. PMC4733128.

Juan de Solis, A., Baquero, A., Bennett C.M., Grove K.L. and Zeltser, L.M. (2016) Postnatal undernutrition delays a key step in the maturation of hypothalamic feeding circuits. Molecular Metabolism 5(3):198-209. PMC4770263.

Baquero, A. Juan de Solis, A., Lee, S., Lindsley, S., Krigiti M, Smith, S.M., Cowley M, Zeltser, L.M. and Grove K.L. (2014) Developmental switch of leptin signaling in arcuate nucleus neurons. Journal of Neuroscience 34(30):10041-10054. PMC4107412.

Ring, L.E. and Zeltser, L.M. (2010) Disruption of hypothalamic leptin signaling in mice leads to early-onset obesity, but physiological adaptations in mature animals stabilize adiposity levels. JCI 120(8):2931-41. PMC2912188.

Padilla, S.L., Carmody, J.S. and Zeltser, L.M. (2010) Pomc-expressing progenitors give rise to antagonistic populations in hypothalamic feeding circuits. Nature Medicine 16(4):403-5. PMC2854504.

  • Sympathetic Innervation of Brown Adipose Tissue 
  • Maternal Programming of Metabolic Disease 
  • Models of Psychiatric Disorders Anorexia 
  • Circuits Regulating Food Intake and Body Weight