Connor Laule, PhD student, pharmacology
Unlocks interplay of stress and appetite
“Connor is a true scientist who takes risks by embarking in projects that are the ‘high-risk high-reward’ type that very few students dare to do.” -Kamal Rahmouni, professor
Hometown: Naperville, Illinois
Faculty mentor/advisor: Kamal Rahmouni, PhD, professor of neuroscience and pharmacology; and Deniz Atasoy, PhD, assistant professor of neuroscience and pharmacology; Carver College of Medicine
What is your degree program and anticipated graduation date? PhD in pharmacology. Spring 2025
Please describe your research: My research is focused on understanding brain circuits involved in appetite and stress. Brain activity in these circuits can change under different metabolic states and stressful conditions, influencing feeding and stress response.
In simple terms, why does this research matter? Many people suffer from appetite disorders, whether it be eating too much or not enough. Additionally, stress underlies some feeding disorders. Our broad goal is to understand the interplay between appetite and stress. We hope that our work will help identify new treatments for people suffering from these conditions.
How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research? Immediately.
How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? Research at the University of Iowa has greatly enhanced my technical and conceptual understanding of neuroscience and pharmacology. Importantly, the research environment here at Iowa has endowed me with the experience I need to be a successful scientist.
What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? My goal is to lead research as an independent scientist.
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