Sandeep Robert Datta, MD, PhD
Food-seeking behavior is driven by the interplay of internal state and cues from the external world; while remarkable progress has been made in understanding the neuroendocrinological mechanisms that translate metabolic states into motivational states, little is known about how sensory information representing state-appropriate appetitive objects in the world is represented in the brain, or how this information is merged with internal state data to drive adaptive behaviors such as foraging. We have developed a suite of molecular genetic and neural tracing methods that are enabling our lab to identify specific sensory channels in the olfactory epithelium that are crucial for innate odor-driven behaviors such as foraging for food or approaching mates, and to trace the flow of information from the nose through the olfactory cortex into limbic, striatal and hypothalamic regions of the brain responsible for driving innate behaviors and altering energy balance and expenditure. These experiments will reveal the neural basis for behaviors that play critical roles in normal energy homeostasis, and potentially identify neural substrates that are affected as part of the pathophysiology of obesity and diabetes.
1. Datta SR, Vasconcelos ML, Ruta V, Luo S, Wong A, Demir E, Flores J, Balonze K, Dickson BJ and Axel R. (2008). The Drosophila pheromone cVA activates a sexually dimorphic neural circuit. Nature 452: 473-7.
2. Ruta VR, Datta SR, Vasconcelos ML, Looger L and Axel R. (2010) A Dimorphic Pheromone Responsive Circuit in Drosophila from Sensory Input to Descending Output. Nature 486: 686-90. PMCID: PMC3354569.
3. Sosulski DL, Lissitsyna MV, Cutforth T, Axel R and Datta SR. (2011). Distinct Representations of Olfactory Information in Different Cortical Centers. Nature 472: 213-16. PMCID: PMC3354569.
4. Ferrero DM, Lemon JK, Fluegge D, Pashkovski SL, Korzan WJ, Datta SR, Spehr M, Fendt M and Liberles SD. (2011) Detection and Avoidance of a Carnivore Odor by Prey. PNAS 108: 11235-40. PMCID: PMC3131382.
5. Datta SR and Patterson GH. (2011) Optical highlighter molecules in neurobiology. Curr. Opin. Neuro. 22: 1-10. PMCID: PMC3294064.
6. Hassan S, Karpova Y, Baiz D, Yanckey D, Pullikuth A, Register T, Cline M, D’Agostino R, Danial N, Datta SR and Kulik G. (2013) Stress Inhibits Apoptosis and Accelerates Prostate Cancer Development in Mice through BAD Phosphorylation. J. Clin. Invest. 123: 874-86. PMCID: PMC3561807.