Public Release:  BIDMC endocrinology researcher Mark Andermann, Ph.D., named 2013 Pew Scholar

Scholarship will provide funding for novel research to understand what drives appetite, with the goal of addressing obesity and other food-related problems

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

BOSTON - Mark Andermann, PhD, an investigator in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has been named a 2013 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Andermann is one of 22 investigators selected from 134 nominees to receive the scholarship, which provides flexible funding to early-career scientists researching the basis of perplexing health problems. The four-year award totals $240,000 and will support Andermann's work exploring the attention to food cues as a new approach to understanding obesity and other eating disorders.

The Pew Scholars program provides scientists the freedom to take calculated risks and the resources to pursue the most promising, but untried avenues for scientific breakthroughs. Andermann's work focuses on investigating the pathways in the brain that cause us to notice food when we are hungry.

"We aim to understand how hunger actually causes changes in the brain and its potential consequences for obesity, binge eating, and other eating disorders," he explains. "With the Pew award, I intend to use novel imaging technologies to assess how hunger influences sensory processing, both across and within brain areas, by observing the neural response to food-related, fear-related and neutral cues."

"Dr. Andermann's lab is at the forefront of using brain imaging technology to study the activity of individual neurons in a living animal over long periods of time," adds Anthony Hollenberg, MD, BIDMC's Chief of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. "This technology allows Dr. Andermann to observe how the cells within the brain process images of food and other cues, and how this processing changes depending on whether the animal is fed or not. This is critically important in our current society, where we are constantly bombarded with environmental cues that stimulate our appetites, and fully one-third of U.S. adults are obese."

Andermann earned a doctorate in biophysics in 2005 from Harvard Medical School (HMS). Following a year-long fellowship from the Helsinki University of Technology in Finland, he began postdoctoral studies in systems neuroscience at HMS. In 2012, Andermann joined the faculty of BIDMC and HMS as Assistant Professor.

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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School and currently ranks third in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit http://www.bidmc.org.

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