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 love living in Iowa City! While it is a small town, there are plenty of cultural events going on all the time. Obviously, one of the most important aspects to me is the music scene. The music venues in Iowa City work hard to constantly bring in nationally-touring up-and-coming bands. The Blue Moose, Gabes, The Mill, and the Yacht Club have live music almost nightly, so you always have an opportunity to see a great show. The Bijou is an indie movie theater that shows awesome films for only $3. With the Writers' Workshop here, authors are frequently brought in to do readings and book talks, and the Iowa City Public Library is fantastic. The best thing about all of these is that they are cheap! Honestly, I am NEVER bored here! ”