Will de Lartigue is an Assistant Professor in Pharmacodynamics at the University of Florida. His lab studies the neurobiology of feeding. They are specifically interested in an understudied set of peripheral neurons that make up the sensory arm of the vagus nerve. These neurons form a direct anatomical link between the gut and the brain and provide a rapid neural mechanism for conveying information about the gastrointestinal environment to the brain. Although electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve is proving effective in treating a number of diseases, a lack of tools available to study the role of specific subsets of vagal neurons in physiological and disease states has led to an incomplete understanding of this pathway. They make use of molecular and genetic tools to target, image, and trace projections from subpopulations of sensory vagal neurons that innervate the gut to study the signals that active them and the circuits they recruit. In combination with behavioral, physiologic, and neurochemical techniques we study the role of vagal sensory neurons in the control feeding behaviors.
See more of his work here .