Lori Zeltser, PhD

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Overview

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology

Dr. Zeltser is an Assistant 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 fucntion of neuronal circuits regulating food intake and body weight.

Email: lz146@cumc.columbia.edu

Gender

  • Female

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • PhD, Molecular and Developmental Biology, The Rockefeller University

Honors & 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

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 tiered 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.

Research Interests

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

Grants

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 2019

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 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 FEEDI NG CIRCUIT IN PROGENY (Federal Gov)

Sep 30 2007 - Sep 29 2011

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

Jul 1 2005 - Jun 30 2007

Selected 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.