Monell Center researcher receives 2021 Eppendorf & Science Prize for his work on gut-brain studies

Newswise – (PHILADELPHIA) Amber L. Alhadeff, PhD, Assistant Member of the Monell Chemical Senses Center, received the 2021 Eppendorf & Science Prize in Neurobiology for her research into how gut-brain connections in the brain influence eating behavior.

The annual award honors early-career scientists. Alhadeff is the 20th recipient of this international distinction. The winner receives $ 25,000 and their essay is published in Science. Read his article in Science here.

“I am extremely honored to receive this award,” said Alhadeff. “It is a tremendous springboard for my career as an independent researcher and a huge source of motivation for myself and the members of my laboratory. “

In recent research, the Alhadeff lab found that when we eat, nutrients like fat and sugar trigger different gut-brain neural pathways to turn off hunger neuron activity. This line of research on the neurobiology of hunger may have implications for therapies related to obesity and eating disorders. Her work helps answer questions such as why we behave differently when we haven’t eaten, how we know when to stop eating, how the foods we eat influence our brain activity, and why we perceive the world differently when we are. are hungry or full.

“Amber Alhadeff described in a brilliant essay how the neurons encoding hunger are modulated by what we eat and how they can change our behavior,” explained Peter Stern, PhD, editor of Science and chairman of the award jury. “His research helps us understand how hunger changes our general perception of the world. “

Alhadeff received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, after which she joined J. Nicholas Betley’s lab at Penn for her postdoctoral training. In 2020, she joined Monell’s faculty, where her lab studies the gut-to-brain signaling pathways underlying motivated behaviors. She serves as a dedicated mentor to her interns and an advocate for scientists from under-represented backgrounds. She is also the recipient of the NIH K99 / R00 Pathway to Independence Award, the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, the L’Oréal USA for Women in Science Award, the Klingenstein-Simons Foundation Award in Neuroscience and the American Heart Association Career Development. Price.


The Monell Chemical Senses Center is an independent, not-for-profit basic research institute based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1968, Monell’s mission is to improve health and wellness by advancing scientific understanding of taste, smell, and the associated senses, where our findings lead to improved nutritional health, in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, in the fight against the loss of odor and taste and in the digitization of chemosensory data.

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