Jonathan Flak, PhD, began setting up his lab in the Lilly Diabetes Center of Excellence at the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI) immediately upon arrival. The Flak Lab focuses on studying the central nervous system’s regulation of glucose metabolism as it relates to diabetes.
More specifically, Flak will build on work he began at the University of Michigan that is aimed at distinguishing markers for ventromedial hypothalamic neurons involved in glycemic regulation from the rest of the nucleus, a known brain area critical to balancing glucose, to help determine new targets that may prove important in future therapeutics.
He plans to identify the downstream systems from these subsets of ventromedial hypothalamic neurons to establish the mechanisms of how the brain can tune metabolic function (e.g., energy expenditure, glucose uptake, glucose mobilization).
Prior to establishing his lab at the IBRI, Flak worked in the lab of Martin Myers at the University of Michigan. This project was an outgrowth from his work in this lab, where he began using cre-dependent mouse models and viral systems to study leptin action in the brainstem periaqueductal gray and lateral parabrachial nuclei. His work with Myers led to research published in Nature Neuroscience and the Journal of Clinical Investigation. For a full list of Flak's published research, click here.