Van Dijk lab - Integrative Neurobiology of Energy Balance



Research focus

The research of my group focuses on the Integrative Neurobiology of Energy Balance. Central in this work is how the brain regulates ingestive behavior, digestive processes, fuel fluxes and energy expenditure, but also how it is recipient of information regarding the energy status. Knowing the fundamental underpinnings of these mechanisms allows us to also investigate how internal and external factors can cause derailments in behavior, energy balance and fuel homeostasis, which in turn can impair sustainable health from early programming during the perinatal stage till old age, and how these negative impacts may be prevented or treated.

Experimental strategy

Many of our studies employ rodent models in which we interrogate abovementioned regulatory systems, but also develop and investigate preclinical (e.g. surgical), dietary and behavioral strategies to prevent and treat pathologies of energy balance and fuel homeostasis. Cell line studies are incidentally employed to narrow down on local mechanisms. Human studies include dietary manipulations and how these could improve mental and physical health complaints, using, among others, a smartphone application monitoring human behavior, via

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