Faculty A-Z

Michiru Hirasawa

Professor of Neurosciences, PhD, DVM

BioMedical Sciences

709-864-6573 (phone), 709-864-6007 (fax), 709-864-6572 (lab)


Health Sciences Centre, Room 4337 (office), Room 4334 (lab)

Research Interests

Obesity Facts

Worldwide: > 1.9 billion overweight adults (>600 million obese) in 2014 (WHO)
Canada: 62% men and 46% women were overweight or obese in 2014 (Statistics Canada)
Obesity is a major risk factor for: type 2 diabetes, hypertension, stroke, cancer, depression, etc.

Combat Obesity: Our goal
To determine the cellular/molecular mechanisms underlying central control of energy balance (food intake and energy expenditure), which will identify new therapeutic targets for obesity and eating disorders.

Combat Obesity: Our approach
Interrogation of fundamental mechanisms underlying body weight regulation by the brain

  • Synaptic physiology
  • Ion channel functions
  • Transporters
  • Astrocyte-neuron communication

Investigation of the brain in obese/obesogenic conditions (diet-induced obesity; binge eating; yo-yo dieting; genetic obesity e.g. Prader-Willi Syndrome)

  • How does the brain change in obesogenic conditions?
  • How do these changes contribute to obesity?