Ana Domingos, University of Oxford, UK

Ana Domingos is an Associate Professor at the University of Oxford. After studying undergraduate Mathematics in Lisbon and Paris, she went to The Rockefeller University in New York City for her doctoral neurobiology studies with Leslie Vosshall and postdoc with Jeffrey Friedman, investigating how the hormone leptin affects neurocircuitry underlying food choices in mouse models of obesity.

Her current research interests in neuroimmunometabolism started in her first lab at the Gulbenkian Institute four years before moving to Oxford. Her laboratory discovered the sympathetic neuro-adipose junction, a functional synapse-like connection between white adipocytes and the sympathetic nervous system (Cell, 2015). They demonstrated that adipose sympathetic neurons are necessary and sufficient for fat mass reduction via norepinephrine (NE) signalling. They are the peripheral efferent arm in the neuroendocrine loop of leptin action in the brain (Cell, 2015 and Nature Communications, 2017). They then discovered Sympathetic neuron-Associated Macrophages (SAMs) that contribute to obesity by importing and metabolizing NE (Nature Medicine, 2017). These findings inspired the development of a new class of anti-obesity compounds named sympathofacilitators, which do not enter the brain nor have the typical cardiovascular or behavioural side effects of centrally acting sympathomimetic drugs (Cell Metabolism, 2020). Her lab aims to elucidate neuroimmune mechanisms regulating autonomic function, and understand their implications in obesity. Ana Domingos is a member of the advisory board of Cell Metabolism, a member of the board of reviewing editors of eLife, the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Physiology (AJP) - Endocrinology and Metabolism, published by the American Physiological Society. She has received awards from HHMI, Wellcome, ERC, HFSP, EMBO, and the 2023’ Carl Ludwig Lectureship award.

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