Focus Areas


Neural algorithms that ensure basic survival needs are satisfied.
Learn More About Appetite

Systems Neuroscience

Systems Neuroscience
Merging molecular and systems neuroscience.
Learn More About Systems Neuroscience


Focal neuromodulation bridging neuroscience with neurological therapies.
Learn More About Chemogenetics
mouse looking at food and a glass of water
Credit: Julia Kuhl

The Neurobiology of Need

Our laboratory investigates the neural and molecular mechanisms underlying physiological need states, such as hunger and thirst. We want to understand how motivations are produced by the brain while addressing pressing public health problems of obesity, overeating, and addiction. To bridge the gap between research in model organisms and human disease, we integrate molecular technologies with system neuroscience and develop new chemogenetic technologies.



Most Recent Papers

  1. Y. Wang, S. Krabbe, M. Eddison, F.E. Henry, G. Fleischman, A. Lemire, L. Wang, W. Korff, P.W. Tillberg, A. Lüthi, S.M. Sternson. Multimodal mapping of cell types and projections in the central nucleus of the amygdala. eLife (2023).
  2. J. Raper, M.A.G. Eldridge, S.M. Sternson, J.Y. Shim, G.P. Fomani, B.J. Richmond, T. Wichmann, A. Galvan. Characterization of ultrapotent chemogenetic ligands for research applications in non-human primates. ACS Chemical Neurosci. (2022) 13, 3118-3125.