Until recently, it was believed that the body burned fat only in response to hormones in the blood. However, new evidence shows that neurotransmitters in the brain play an active role in controlling energy use. Dr. William Gibson is studying how the brain uses the liver to control fat burning. He is investigating how the brain reduces activity of the SCD-1 enzyme (steroyl-CoA desaturase-1) to increase fat burning. Findings from this research may help to explain the molecular basis of human obesity, and lead to safe methods for reducing fat storage in people who are overweight and obese. Dr. Gibson also has a clinical interest in rare, monogenic obesity syndromes.