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Joshua P. Thaler, Ph.D.

Joshua P. Thaler, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition, University of Washington, Seattle WA

The course of my research focuses on a variety of aspects surrounding hypothalamic regulation of energy homeostasis and the alterations to this system during obesity pathogenesis. I have become particularly interested in the contributions of glial cells to metabolism after our seminal observation of hypothalamic inflammation and gliosis in obese rodents and humans (Thaler et al., JCI 2012). The current project examines the role of microglia inflammatory signaling in the regulation of energy homeostasis. It is based on several studies within our lab that are currently under review at high-impact journals (Nature Communications and Cell). As the PI of this investigation, I am well qualified to oversee the proposed experiments.  Originally trained in developmental neuroscience, I acquired skills in the area of metabolism and energy regulation during my fellowship with Dr. Michael Schwartz focusing on the role of hypothalamic inflammation in sickness behavior and obesity. These studies trained me to design, perform, and analyze experiments with metabolic and physiologic endpoints. I am also the Associate Director of the Energy Balance and Glucose Metabolism (EBGM) Core of our NIH-funded Nutrition and Obesity Research Center (NORC), in which capacity I work with outside investigators to develop experimental paradigms for assessing metabolic parameters in mouse models and assist with data analysis obtained from indirect calorimetry. I have formed close collaborations with a number of investigators in the metabolism, immunology, and neuroscience communities that have helped my transition to independence in obesity research. In addition, I have developed a fully independent laboratory and have successfully trained a postdoctoral fellow through to his transition onto our faculty. 

Associated Research: