Kamal Rahmouni, PhD

kamal-rahmouni
Pharmacology
Associate Professor
Summary statement: 

Neurobiology of Metabolism and Cardiovascular Function

Office phone: 
(319) 353-5256
Office number: 
3135C
Office building: 
MERF

The work in my laboratory is focused on the neurobiology of metabolism, energy homeostasis and cardiovascular function and related disorders such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension. The central nervous system is a major player in the regulation of energy homeostasis as well as cardiovascular system. Our research is aimed at the identification of the neuroanatomical and molecular pathways involved in the regulation of metabolic, autonomic and cardiovascular functions. We also investigate the dysregulation of these pathways in disease condition such us obesity and diabetes. The lab uses multidisciplinary approaches including basic research tools, genetic models and sophisticated physiological techniques that allow us to address physiological questions at the molecular level. There are currently several ongoing studies aimed at elucidating the intracellular pathways involved in the central nervous system control of energy homeostasis and autonomic cardiovascular function by insulin and adipocyte-derived hormone, leptin. Specifically, we are focused at understanding the exact role of the different downstream pathways associated with the insulin and leptin receptors in the regulation of the physiological cues. For these studies, we rely on mouse models that have deletion is specific intracellular signaling pathways. We also use the Cre-LoxP technology to target specific areas in the brain to delineate the neuronal architectural network that control metabolism and autonomic cardiovascular function. Disease mechanisms are investigated in animal models of obesity and diabetes such as diet-induced obesity, but also rare monogenic models including mouse models of Bardet-Biedl Syndrome that mimic the human disorders. The study of monogenic models allow us to elucidate how basic cell biological mechanisms conserved in all organisms (i.e. intracellular transport and cilia function) and complex phenotypes (such as obesity and hypertension) that result when these mechanisms are perturbed.

“I searched for a school that boasted a positive environment for collaboration, commitment to scientific training, and a high caliber of mentorship, all surrounded by a town I could feel at home in.  My first exposure to the University of Iowa was during a summer undergraduate research fellowship.  During that ten weeks training, I found that that the University of Iowa fulfilled all of my expectations for graduate school and much, much more.  It was that experience that I compared all of my other graduate interviews too, and needless to say, but I will anyway, I chose the University of Iowa. ”