Lori Zeltser, PhD

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology
Lori Zeltser, PhD

Dr. Zeltser is an Associate Professor in the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center and the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology. Dr. Zeltser graduated from Princeton University and received her Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University. She continued her research training in development neurobiology as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratories of Andrew Lumsden at Kings College London and Claudio Stern and Thomas Jessell at Columbia University. Her laboratory studies developmental influences on the formation and function of neuronal circuits regulating food intake and body weight.

Email: lz146@cumc.columbia.edu

Research in the Zeltser laboratory explores how developmental influences exert lasting impacts on body weight regulation. Epidemiological studies provide strong evidence that interactions between genetic and early environmental factors influence later susceptibility to obesity and eating disorders. A major obstacle to elucidating the underlying mechanism for these effects is that most research programs are focused on the neuroanatomy and physiology of body weight regulation in adults. We are using a two-pronged approach to identify critical developmental processes in the central and peripheral nervous system that regulate susceptibility to childhood obesity and anorexia nervosa. First, we use a combination of genetic, environmental and/or dietary manipulations in mice to define the timing and types of exposures needed to recapitulate basic epidemiological observations in humans. Then we use genetic and pharmacological tools to characterize the consequences of these developmental factors on the maturation of neuronal circuits that, in turn, mediate effects on metabolic, neuroendocrine and behavioral phenotypes. By applying the rigor and precision of developmental neuroscience to mouse models of susceptibility to body weight dysregulation, our research is yielding new insights into the causes of childhood obesity and anorexia nervosa, and could lead to new therapeutic strategies to treat these disorders.

Departments and Divisions

  • Department of Pathology & Cell Biology

Education and Training

  • PhD, 1996 Molecular and Developmental Biology, The Rockefeller University

Centers / Institutes / Programs

  • Institute of Human Nutrition

Lab Locations

  • CUIMC/Russ Berrie Medical Science Pavilion

    1150 St. Nicholas Avenue
    New York, NY 10032
    Phone:
    (212) 851-5314
    Fax:
    (212) 851-5306
    Email:
    lz146@cumc.columbia.edu

Contact Info

  • (212) 851-5314

Teaching Responsibilities

Course Director for Molecular and Cell Biology and Nutrients G4020

Committees / Societies / Memberships

Society Memberships:

Society for Neuroscience

American Diabetes Association

The Obesity Society- member

Endocrine Society- member

Editing Committess:

Journal of Neuroscience- Associate Editor

Molecular Metabolism- Topic Editor

Diabetes – Consulting Editor

Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology – Review Editor

JCI Insight – Consulting Editor

Honors and Awards

1989: Magna cum laude in Molecular Biology, Princeton University
1989: Arnold and Mabel Beckman Fellowship, The Rockefeller University
1996: Hitchings-Elion Fellowship, Burroughs Wellcome Fund
2005: Naomi Berrie Young Investigator Award, CUMC
2005: William J. Matheson Foundation Young Investigator Award, CUMC
2013: Gladys J. Fashena Lecture, UT Southwestern Department of Pediatrics
2015: Harold and Golden Lamport Award for Excellence in Clinical Science Research, CUMC

Research Interests

  • Cellular/Molecular/Developmental Neuroscience
  • Circuits Regulating Food Intake and Body Weight
  • Maternal Programming of Metabolic Disease
  • Models of Psychiatric Disorders (Anorexia)
  • Sympathetic Innervation of Brown Adipose Tissue

NIH Grants

  • COLUMBIA DIABETES RESEARCH CENTER (Federal Gov)

    Jul 6 2018 - Jan 31 2023

    FUNCTIONAL MAPPING OF ARGININE VASOPRESSIN RECEPTOR 1A CIRCUITS THATPROMOTE ANOREXIC BEHAVIOR (Federal Gov)

    Apr 1 2018 - Dec 31 2022

    DEVELOPMENTAL PROGRAMMING OF BROWN ADIPOSE TISSUE SYMPATHETIC TONE (Federal Gov)

    Apr 9 2020 - Mar 31 2021

    STRESS AND EATING BEHAVIOR IN ANOREXIA NERVOSA (Private)

    Oct 1 2017 - Sep 30 2020

    FOUNDATIONAL TOOLS TO STUDY THE IMPACTS OF SYMPATHETIC ACTIVITY ON THE NEUROANATOMY AND FUNCTION OF BROWN ADIPOSE TISSUE (Federal Gov)

    Sep 28 2016 - Jul 31 2020

    DIABETES AND ENDOCRINOLOGY RESEARCH CENTER (Federal Gov)

    Mar 15 2013 - May 9 2020

    DEVELOPMENTAL INFLUENCES ON CIRCUITS REGULATING BROWN ADIPOSE TISSUE FUNCTION AND SUSCEPTIBILITY TO OBESITY (Private)

    Jan 1 2017 - Dec 31 2019

    DIABETES AND ENDOCRINOLOGY RESEARCH CENTER (Federal Gov)

    Mar 15 2013 - Jan 31 2018

    DIABETES AND ENDOCRINOLOGY RESEARCH CENTER (Federal Gov)

    Mar 15 2013 - Jan 31 2018

    DIABETES AND ENDOCRINOLOGY RESEARCH CENTER (Federal Gov)

    Mar 15 2013 - Jan 31 2018

    A NOVEL THERAPEUTIC TARGET FOR ANOREXIA NERVOSA (Private)

    Nov 1 2016 - Oct 31 2017

    INTERACTIONS BETWEEN NEURONAL NETWORKS THAT REGULATE FOOD INTAKE AND BODY WEIGHT (Federal Gov)

    Jul 26 2011 - Apr 30 2017

    MATERNAL INFLUENCES ON SUSCEPTIBILITY TO ANOREXIA-LIKE BEHAVIOR (Private)

    Jun 1 2014 - May 31 2016

    MULTI-FACTORIAL MOUSE MODEL TO STUDY THE ONSET OF AN-LIKE BEHAVIOR (Private)

    Jun 1 2013 - May 31 2015

    MODEL OF MATERNAL OBESITY TO STUDY EFFECTS ON DEVELOPING HYPOTHALAMIC CIRCUITS THAT PROMOTE OBESITY IN PROGENY AND RE-PROGRAMMING THESE ADVERSE OUTCOMES IN YOUNG MICE (Private)

    Jul 1 2011 - Jun 30 2014

    METABOLIC ADAPTATION AND CHANGES IN CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM CIRCUITRY IN WEIGHT-PERTURBED C57BL/6J MICE (Private)

    Jun 16 2008 - Nov 30 2013

    MOUSE KNOCK-IN OF HUMAN BDNF VAL66MET POLYMORHISM TO STUDY SUSCEPTIBILITY TO ANOREXIA NERVOSA (Private)

    Jan 1 2012 - Jun 30 2013

    MOUSE MODEL OF BDNF VAL66MET POLYMORPHISM ASSOCIATED WITH AN OREXIA NERVOSA (Private)

    Jun 1 2010 - May 31 2012

    EFFECTS OF MATERNAL INSULIN RESISTANCE ON HYPOTHALAMIC FEEDI NG CIRCUIT IN PROGENY (Federal Gov)

    Sep 30 2007 - Sep 29 2011

    EFFECTS OF MATERNAL INSULIN RESISTANCE ON HYPOTHALAMIC FEEDING CIRCUIT IN PROGENY (Federal Gov)

    Sep 30 2007 - Sep 1 2011

    HYPOTHLAMIC FEEDING CIRCUITS IN MOUSE MODELS OF GESTATIONAL DIABETES (Private)

    Jul 1 2005 - Jun 30 2007

Lab Projects

    • Neuroanatomical and functional mapping of sympathetic innervation of brown adipose tissue.
    • Investigating the impact of obesogenic diets and rapid growth on the development and function of sympathetic circuits regulating brown adipose tissue thermogenesis and susceptibility to diet-induced obesity.
    • Exploring the contribution of AVPR1A signaling to anorexia-like behavior in a novel mouse model that incorporates gene (BDNF-Val66Met) x environment (social stress and dieting) interactions associated with anorexia nervosa in humans.
    • Mapping circuits in the brain responsible for suppressed feeding behavior in a mouse model of anorexia nervosa.
    • Developing a translational behavioral assay to evaluate the relationship between anxiety and the approach to or avoidance of fattening foods in mice and human subjects.

Lab Members

  • Marie Francois, Postdoctoral Research Scientist
  • Isabella Canal, Master's Student
  • Daniele Neri, PhD student
  • Natalia (Maria) Bobba, PhD Student
  • Olaya Fernandez Gayol, Postdoctoral Research Scientist
  • Alexandre Lafond, Research Technician
  • Seoeun Lee, PhD Student
  • Angela Ramos Lobo, Postdoctoral Research Scientist
  • Nikolay Shargorodsky, Research Technician

Publications

Padilla, S.L., Carmody, J.S. and Zeltser, L.M. (2010) Pomc-expressing progenitors give rise to antagonistic populations in hypothalamic feeding circuits. Nature Medicine 16(4):403-5. PMC2854504.

Ring, L.E. and Zeltser, L.M. (2010) Disruption of hypothalamic leptin signaling in mice leads to early-onset obesity, but physiological adaptations in mature animals stabilize adiposity levels. JCI 120(8):2931-41. PMC2912188.

Schwartz, G.J. and Zeltser, L.M. (2013) Functional Organization of Neuronal and Humoral Signals Regulating Feeding Behavior. Annual Reviews of Nutrition Jul 17;33:1-21. PMC3991304.

Baquero, A. Juan de Solis, A., Lee, S., Lindsley, S., Krigiti M, Smith, S.M., Cowley M, Zeltser, L.M. and Grove K.L. (2014) Developmental switch of leptin signaling in arcuate nucleus neurons. Journal of Neuroscience 34(30):10041-10054. Featured Article in Journal. PMC4107412.

Juan de Solis, A., Baquero, A., Bennett C.M., Grove K.L. and Zeltser, L.M. (2016) Postnatal undernutrition delays a key step in the maturation of hypothalamic feeding circuits. Molecular Metabolism 5(3):198-209. PMC4770263.

Lerea J.S., Ring, L.E., Hassouna, R., Chong, A.C.N., Szigeti-Buck K, Horvath, T.L. and Zeltser, L.M. (2015) Reducing adiposity in a critical developmental window has lasting benefits in mice. Endocrinology 157(2):666-78. PMC4733128.

Zeltser, L.M. (2015) Developmental influences on circuits programming susceptibility to obesity. Front Neuroendocrinol. 39:17-27. PMID:26206662. Free PMC article.

Madra, M. and Zeltser L.M. (2016) BDNF-Val66Met variant and adolescent stress interact to promote susceptibility to anorexic behavior in mice. Translational Psychiatry Apr 5;6:e776. PMC4872394.

Zeltser, L.M. and Madra, M. (2018) A framework for elucidating causes and consequences of malnutrition in anorexia nervosa. In S. Sangha and D. Foti (Eds.) Neurobiology of Abnormal Emotion and Motivated Behaviors. Academic Press. ISBN: 9780128136935.

Zeltser, L.M. (2018) Feeding circuit development and early-life influences on future feeding behavior. Nature Review of Neuroscience 19(5):302-316. PMID: 29662204.

For a complete list of publications, please visit PubMed.gov