Andrew D Steele

Andrew D Steele

Professor of Biological Sciences, Biological Sciences, College of Science

Our lab's research

Our lab studies two aspects of feeding and circadian rhythms: 1) we are identifying the dopamine neurons that are required for linking scheduled meal time to daily activity cycles and 2) we are identifying the dopamine neurons that are required for diet-induced obesity in mice. So far, we have been able to pinpoint calbindin1 dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra as necessary for food anticipatory activity. We use conditional deletion strategies to knockout of the rate limiting enzyme for catecholamine synthesis, tyrosine hydroxylase. Using this approach, we determined that Ntsr1 dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area are needed for obesity on a high fat diet in both male and female mice.

Recently, we began collaborating with the CLOVER Center at Caltech to help characterize, prepare, and distribute adeno-associated viruses from Cal Poly Pomona. Our facility is funded by the NIH BRAIN initiative and is called the Armamentarium Vector Core. We will have a separate website for this facility launching in the Fall of 2023 to distribute viruses to requesting investigators.