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Jennifer Richard

Postdoctoral Fellow

My primary area of expertise focuses on understanding the interaction of sex hormones with gut-to-brain signals. More specifically my research has focused on investigating the behavioural and neuroendocrine processes that control homeostatic and hedonic food intake, and potentially how dysregulation of these processes can lead to obesity. While obesity affects both sexes, preclinical research on the neural mechanisms controlling food intake have previously been conducted exclusively in males. My work has therefore focused on investigating potential sex differences in these behaviours, including the influence of sex hormones on their own, or on other food intake regulating hormones, such as glucagon-lika-peptide-1 (GLP-1) and ghrelin. Understanding these differences may be crucial to finding new effective anti-obesity treatments.

I am currentlhy at the Department of Physiology, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, The Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden, but next year I hope to be joining the Laboratory of Behavoural Neuroendocrinology at UBC. After this transition, I will employ my knowledge on these hormones to investigate their effects on cognitive decline in female-specific states, such as menopause and pregnancy, and how hormonal changes associated with these states may alter or effect the development of neurodegenerative diseases, for instance Alzheimer’s disease.

In my spare time I create videos for YouTube and IGTV, in a series called Momology. Momology is a scientific outreach project to communicate the science behind topics revolving around parenthood and children, for example vaccines, screen time and eating behaviour.