Dr John Apergis-Schoute
Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow
Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge
Neural circuits linking sleep, feeding and emotion
Dr Apergis-Schoute’s research aims to understand the neural circuits linking emotion and appetite. Whether we choose to eat or not is often affected by our emotional state, stress and anxiety can depress or enhance appetite irrespective of our bodies energy needs. In extreme cases this can lead to someone developing an eating disorder. Dr Apergis-Schoute uses a system level approach to try and determine the functional neural circuits linking the emotional part of the brain, the amygdala, and the part controlling appetite, the hypothalamus. This research will potentially lead to a better understanding of the neural link between appetite and emotion and hopefully shed light on the neural mechanisms that are disrupted in individuals with eating disorders.
Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships allow flexible working patterns to take into account personal circumstances such as parenting or caring responsibilities. Dr Apergis-Schoute explained how the fellowship has helped him achieve balance between his research and his family, “As a husband and father I am very fortunate to have received the Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship. My wife and I are both neuroscience researchers at the University of Cambridge and are as committed to maintaining a stable and balanced family environment as we are to our careers. Too often, however, one comes at the expense of the other. Fortunately, this fellowship has given us the flexibility to fully engage in our work when most demanding while providing us with the time necessary for a healthy family life. As such, we have both managed, at this critical stage of our career, to continue our research at an international level without feeling that our responsibilities as parents have been unduly strained, allowing us to balance a fruitful scientific career with a fun family life.”