Bohorquez to get K-01 career development award

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Diego Bohórquez, PhD, a gut-brain neuroscientist and post-doctoral fellow in the Division of Gastroenterology, has received a K-01 Mentored Research Career Development Award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for his research project, "Gut-brain neurocircuit modulating eating behavior."

"This is exciting work, and we are fortunate that Diego will soon be joining our faculty," said Andrew Muir, MD, MHS, chief of the Division of Gastroenterology. Rodger Liddle, MD, professor of medicine (Gastroenterology), and Fan Wang, PhD, associate professor of  neurobiology, serve as his mentors.

This past summer, Dr. Bohorquez was awarded a Grass Fellowship in the Neurosciences, which allowed him to perform an independent research project among extraordinary neuroscientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA.

The Grass Fellowship supports early-career neuroscientists as they pursue a high-risk, high-reward project.

"The fellowship allowed me to jumpstart a project using optogenetics to trigger sensory signals from the gut wall and map the areas of the brain that receive these signals," said Bohorquez.

This research will lead to an understanding of how stimuli like food in our gut modulate appetitive behaviors, which is essential knowledge to develop therapies for obesity, he said.

Bohorquez presented his research, on the sensory mechanisms by which food in our gut triggers the perception of satiety in our brain, to Medicine Research Conference in April 2013. He will present an update of his research at Gastroenterology Grand Rounds April 8, 2015.