A/Prof Zane Andrews
Associate Professor Andrews received his PhD in New Zealand at the University of Otago in 2003 and has 15 years’ experience in the field of neuroendocrinology and neuroscience. He undertook postdoctoral training at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA (2004-2008). He moved Monash University in Melbourne, Australia in 2009 and established his own laboratory. Dr Andrews is currently a National Health Medical Research Council Career Development Fellow Level II. His group uses mouse transgenic models and viral techniques to study how food or the lack of food affects the brain and behaviour. He is primarily interested in understanding the neural circuits that sense hunger or hypoglycemia and influence brain function, including energy homeostasis, glucose homeostasis, mental health and neurodegeneration. It is becoming increasingly clear that a state of hunger elicits numerous effects on the brain, not just those related to food intake.
His group are interested in how these metabolic neural circuits detect hunger and hypoglycemia and regulate stress and motivation circuits and link states of hunger with mood and motivation. We focus on the hormone ghrelin as a key hormonal signal of hunger and AgRP neurons as key hunger-sensing neurons in the brain and our research over a number of years shows that hunger influences not only metabolism but also many non-food associated behaviours such as anxiety and neuroprotection, which underlies the objectives in this proposal.