Caroline received her Ph.D. in Animal Sciences from the University of Arizona. Under Dr. Ben Renquist, Caroline’s graduate work centered on understanding how hepatic lipid accumulation induced changes in hepatic metabolism drive dysregulations in systemic insulin homeostasis. In the Hayes’ lab, Caroline’s focus has shifted to the neurohormonal control of energy homeostasis. The amylin signaling system is an attractive therapeutic target to treat obesity as amylin acts synergistically with other satiation signals to decrease food intake and enhance weight loss. This work is investigating how amylin signaling in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) engages a neural network to the prefrontal cortex (PFC) to invoke satiation and limit motivated feeding especially of highly palatable and rewarding foods.
The other focus of Caroline’s work in the Hayes’ lab is to understand how gut-brain communication regulates diurnal patterns of feeding behavior. She plans to investigates how clock genes in vagal afferent nerves regulate circadian patterns of vagal sensitivity to gastrointestinal derived satiation signals.