The long-range goal of the Bouret's lab is to study the hormonal and molecular signals that direct development of hypothalamic feeding circuits. Our research has directly led to several breakthroughs in the understanding of the complex hormonal signals and neurodevelopmental substrates responsible for appetite regulation. Most notably, we found that metabolic hormones (such as leptin and ghrelin) influence the development and architecture of hypothalamic circuits involved in energy balance regulation. More recently, our lab has discovered a role for autophagy (a cellular process that degrades cytoplasmic materials, including organelles and misfolded proteins) in hypothalamic development and metabolic regulation. Our current research projects aim at determining the role of miRNAs and axon guidance molecules in hypothalamic development and how these biological processes contribute to lifelong metabolic regulation. Our current research goal is also to study the molecular signals that link postnatal overnutrition and the abnormal development of hypothalamic feeding circuits.