In her postdoctoral training, Dr. Dus initiated a behavioral genetic study of the feeding and energy metabolism in Drosophila. She discovered a neuronal circuit in the fly brain centered on neurons that express a gene she named cupcake. Flies with mutations in the cupcake gene ignore normal metabolic signals of starvation and continue to prefer sweet-tasting, non-caloric substances, whereas normal flies switch their preferences to substance with more caloric value. Going forward she will investigate how the brain responds to variations in energy homeostasis to regulate feeding behavior. Her work has implications for human metabolic syndromes related to obesity and diabetes. Dr. Dus earned her Ph.D. from the Watson School of Biological Sciences, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY.
The Dus lab is exploring how the brain responds to changes in internal energy to regulate feeding. The goal is to understand the mechanisms neurons use to sense and respond to variations in nutrient levels to regulate feeding behavior and ensure energy balance.
Monica Dus, Jason Sih-Yu Lai, Keith M. Gunapala, Soohong Min, Timothy D. Tayler, Anne C. Hergarden, Eliot Geraud, Christina M. Joseph, Greg S.B. Suh. Nutrient Sensor in the Brain Directs the Action of the Brain-Gut Axis in Drosophila. Neuron. 2015 June 11.
Dus M, Ai M, Suh GS. Taste-independent nutrient selection is mediated by a brain-specific Na+/solute co-transporter in Drosophila. Nature Neuroscience. 2013 Mar 31. doi: 10.1038/nn.3372.
Dus M, Min S, Keene AC, Lee GY, Suh GS. Taste-independent detection of the caloric content of sugars in Drosophila. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Jul 12;108 (28): 11644–11649.
Keene AC, Duboué ER, McDonald DM, Dus M, Suh GSB, Waddell S, Blau J. Clock and Cycle limit starvation-induced sleep loss in Drosophila. Curr Biol. 2010 Jul 13;20(13):1209-15.