Tito received his PhD in Integrative Molecular Medicine from the University of Zurich in Switzerland. His thesis aimed to disentangle the neuronal mechanisms contributing to cancer anorexia-cachexia syndrome (CACS) and identify potential therapeutic options. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), his interests are primarily focused on important, yet understudied, aspects of feeding behavior: nausea, emesis and anorexia as side effects of drug treatments, with special emphasis on chemotherapy. In this context, using a variety of behavioral paradigms, surgical, viral and, pharmacological approaches in multiple species, he is investigating the clinical relevance of the Growth Differentiation Factor 15 (GDF15) and the GLP-1 signaling.
Overall, his long-term research scope is to deeper understand the neuroendocrine systems regulating energy balance and how perturbations in these systems contribute to diseases. It is his hope that a better understanding of the neuronal circuits mediating anorexia and malaise will ultimately lead to significant improvements in patient care and quality of life by reducing the burden on patient well-being that accompanies chronic diseases and many treatments.
- Anorexia-cachexia syndrome in hepatoma tumor-bearing rats requires the area postrema but not vagal afferents and is paralleled by increased MIC-1/GDF15.
- Brainstem GLP-1 signalling contributes to cancer anorexia-cachexia syndrome in the rat.
- GDF15 induces anorexia through nausea and emesis.
- GDF15 induces an aversive visceral malaise state that drives anorexia and weight loss.