Sabrina Diano, Ph.D

Sabrina Diano, Ph.D

Research Summary

Dr. Sabrina Diano is the Robert R. Williams Professor of Nutrition, Director of the Institute of Human Nutrition and Professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics and of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She is also an adjunct Professor at Yale University in the department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology.

Dr. Diano’s research focuses on brain mechanisms regulating energy and glucose homeostasis using interdisciplinary approaches, including molecular biology, anatomy, biochemistry, behavior, electrophysiology, and chemogenetics, in rodent models. Her studies on nutrient sensing by the brain aim to identify inter- and intra-cellular mechanisms that enable brain cells to regulate energy and glucose metabolism and how derangements of these mechanisms induce the development of metabolic disorders. Her research adds critical information to the current understanding of the central regulation of energy and glucose homeostasis and how alterations in stored energy are sensed in the brain.

The results of her research have important implications for the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, disorders that are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the U.S., and the developed world in general, with the highest financial burden on the national economy.

As metabolic dysfunctions have been linked to other disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression, the focus of Dr. Diano’ research involves also studies aiming to decipher the role of metabolic dysfunction in the onset and development of neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders.