Dr. Scott Sternson is a Group Leader at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus in Virginia. His research combines chemical, optical, and genetic tools to remotely control and monitor electrical activity in small neuron populations in the mouse brain in order to probe their influence on complex behaviors related to hunger. His laboratory showed that hypothalamic AGRP neurons rapidly elicit feeding behavior, in part by transmitting a negative valence teaching signal, and he has delineated many of the neural circuits and molecular processes through which AGRP neurons operate. He has also developed widely used chemical and genetic tools for cell type-specific manipulation of neuron activity. Dr. Sternson received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Harvard University. Subsequently, he was a Helen Hay Whitney postdoctoral fellow in neurobiology and molecular genetics at Rockefeller University. He has been honored with the Helmholtz Foundation Young Investigator in Diabetes Award (2013), the Linda and Jack Gill Transformative Investigator Award (2014), and the Denis McGarry Lectureship (2017).
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