The team at functional pharmacology studies pharmacological, genetic and behavioural aspects of central regulation of food intake using human, animal and insect models.
We study the causes of obesity looking at reward mechanisms, cognition and functional role of sleep (sleep deprivation). We functionally characterize newly identified genes that code for solute carriers, GPCRs and other membrane bound protein that are involved in food intake regulation, reward, obesity and anorexia. We have special focus on psychological pathology related to children and adolescents. We perform detailed neuronal expression mapping, association to human body weight phenotypes using human genetics and epigenetics, investigation of gene function using conditional (Cre-Lox) knockout mice, genetic models in fruit flies, clinical studies on nutrition, cognition, neuroimaging (fMRI), sleep, and pathologies of obesity and anorexia. Neuronal networks of food intake with emphasis on reward functions are of high interest as well as the transporters and receptors that act as key nodes. We use bioinformatics studies to identify and characterize new genetic elements and we study the evolutionary mechanism that shaped large gene families among membrane bound proteins. The research group was ranked in 2011 at the highest category of “top international class” by external international panel evaluation of Uppsala University (KoF2011) stating that the “research output of this group is exceptional” with projects “highly relevant for society”. The team aims to create a multidisciplinary environment with good career opportunity for PhD students and post doctoral fellows. The team is very productive with series of high impact publications and high number of citations. The unit is responsible for teaching in pharmacology at the medical and biomedical programs, a master program in biomedicine as well as number of other courses.