Texas Tech University

Neurobiology of Nutrition Laboratory

Neurobiology of Nutrition Lab TTU

News & Announcements

  • Caitlyn Mullins & Ritchel Gannaban, two doctoral students in the lab, have been awarded with Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Science Abstract Recognition Award which recognizes the highest quality research presented by students and young investigators at the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) conference, 2022. Congratulations!
  • Dr. Andrew Shin is appointed as an Associate Editor of Frontiers in Nutrition & Frontiers in Psychology.
  • Dr. Andrew Shin is nominated for TTU Alumni Association New Faculty Award.
  • Alyssa Kramer, a senior undergraduate student in the lab, received an Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award for her poster presentation, “FGF21 mediates restored BCAA metabolism following Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB) surgery in mice” at TTU Undergraduate Research Conference in March 2022. Congratulations!

  • Alyssa Kramer is the recipient of Sarah Kulkofsky Scholarship for her outstanding research. Congratulations!
  • Caitlyn Mullins is the recipient of Trainee Professional Development Award (TPDA) from the Society for Neuroscience (SFN) conference that was held on November 8-12, 2021. Congratulations!
  • Caitlyn Mullins presented her work on “A BCAA-lowering compound reverses metabolic dysregulation and enhances cortical insulin signaling in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease” at the SFN meeting, November 2021.
  • Md Abu Bakkar Siddik presented his work on “BCAA restriction improves cognition and systemic metabolism in APP/PS1 mouse model for AD” at the SFN meeting, November 2021.
  • Zobayda Farzana Haque joined our N2 laboratory as a Nutritional Sciences doctoral student. Welcome!
  • Zobayda Farzana Haque is the recipient of SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program award. Congratulations!
  • Dr. Shin's research is featured on the Diabetes Action Foundation research page for his current study aiming to identify and test the role of specific neuronal populations within the MBH for BCAA regulation. https://diabetesaction.org/current-research
  • Ritchel B. Gannaban is the first author of our research findings now published in Diabetes, "Central regulation of branched-chain amino acids is mediated by AgRP neurons". Congratulations!
  • Dr. Ganga Baskar, a previous postdoctoral fellow in the lab, is appointed as the Commercialization Program Director in the Innovation Hub at TTU. Congratulations!
  • Harsh Shah was highlighted in the COHS News (9/4/20): https://www.depts.ttu.edu/hs/news/posts/2020/student/ns-graduate-student-testimonial-research-opportunities-harsh-shah.php
  • Ritchel B. Gannaban was selected as a Helen Hodges Scholar from Helen Hodges Educational Charitable Trust. Congratulations!
  • Dr. Andrew Shin secured a grant from the Diabetes Action Foundation, "Understanding BCAA regulation – a step toward deciphering diabetes".
  • Caitlyn Mullins is the first author of our review paper in Antioxidants, "Neural Underpinnings of Obesity: The Role of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in the Brain". Congratulations!

Past News & Announcements


We are interested in how the brain is able to integrate nutrient-related signals from various tissues in the body to control body weight and appetite, as well as nutrient metabolism (glucose, amino acids, lipids) in the context of obesity and diabetes. Related to this, we also study how Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), a type of bariatric surgery considered to be one of the most effective treatments for obesity/diabetes, successfully lowers body weight and improves metabolic outcomes. How RYGB surgery rewires both "homeostatic" and "hedonic/reward" systems to defend the new lower body weight is a very interesting topic. We are also interested in parsing out the relationship between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease (AD), and in identifying novel biomarkers and treatments for AD.

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Nutritional Sciences