Prof. Ana Domingos University of Oxford, UK

1 Talk
Ana I. Domingos is a Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Oxford. Her laboratory discovered that the sympathetic neuro-adipose axis mediates the lipolytic effect of leptin (Cell, 2015). They provided the first visualization of adipose sympathetic neurons and demonstrated that they are necessary and sufficient for fat mass reduction via norepinephrine signaling. (Cell, 2015; Nature Communications, 2017). They are thus the peripheral efferent arm that close the neuroendocrine loop of afferent leptin action in the brain. They then discovered Sympathetic neuron-Associated Macrophages (SAMs) that contribute to obesity by importing and metabolizing NE (Nature Medicine, 2017). These findings inspired a new class of anti-obesity compounds named sympathofacilitators, which do not enter the brain nor have the typical cardiovascular or behavioral side effects of centrally acting sympathomimetic drugs (Cell Metabolism, 2020). Her lab is thus inspired by the idea that it is possible to pharmacologically regulate autonomic function to mitigate obesity in a cardioprotective manner. To this end, they study the circuit properties of sympathetic neural networks and how they are regulated by immune cells, pioneering a new field of research coined Neuroimmunometabolism on which her lab authored reviews (Nature Reviews Endocrinology 2020, Annual Review of Cell and Dev. Biol. 2021, Neuron 2022) and organized conferences (Keystone Symposium 2022). They participated in studies probing the reciprocal function of sympathetic nerves on stromal-ILC2 units and how they control adipose mass (Cardoso et al. Nature 2021). Ana Domingos is a member of the advisory board of Cell Metabolism, a member of the board of reviewing editors of eLife, and the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Physiology (AJP) - Endocrinology and Metabolism. She has received the following awards: EMBO installation award (2014), Human Frontiers Science Program Young Investigator Award (2015), Howard Hughes Medical Institute – Welcome International Research Scholar Award (2017), ERC-Consolidator Award (2019), Pfizer Aspire Obesity Award (2022), and the Carl Ludwig Lectureship Award given by the Neural Control & Autonomic Regulation Section Of the American Physiological Society (2023), in addition to funding from industry (Novo Nordisk). She was invited to present her work at renowned international conferences over 70 times in the last nine years.