Renate Maaß Research Award 2016

Prize: Awards of the University of Luebeck

General Description

Dr. Christiane Koch receives the Renate-Maaß Research Award for her work on neuro-hormonal mechanisms of appetite regulation. The award was presented to her by Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Henrik Oster, Head of the Chronophysiology Research Group at Luebeck`s Medical Clinic I.
Christiane Koch, born 1982 in Kassel, studied biology with a major in animal physiology in Marburg and received her PhD with the thesis "Effect of leptin challenge on insulin sensitivity in C57Bl/6J mice on a high-fat diet". Since 2013, she has been conducting research at the University of Lübeck in the group of Prof. Oster. Dr. Koch focuses on the neuro-hormonal regulation of appetite and energy balance in mice. During her PhD, she primarily investigated the regulation of central metabo-regulatory pathways by peripheral hormones such as leptin, insulin and adiponectin, as well as the manipulation of associated pathways by plant compounds. In Lübeck, she conducts research on the regulation of appetite regulatory centers by circadian clocks in the context of homeostatic and hedonic - not hunger-driven - appetite regulation. To this end, she has developed a number of new paradigms for distinguishing between the two aspects of food intake during the course of the day. Her results on leptin resistance clearly show that the central inflammatory response is a key event in the sequelae of obesity, diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome. Appropriate therapies in the future should start there. Many of the aforementioned metabolic hormones show diurnal rhythmic changes in their secretion. In addition, they serve as potential timers for molecular clocks in central control circuits of appetite regulation.

Together with her colleagues in Lübeck, Ms. Koch was able to elucidate such a signaling pathway using the adipokine adiponectin and demonstrate its importance for the diurnal regulation of food intake. Energy balance and the circadian system are closely linked and influence each other. A better understanding of the systems involved offers entirely new approaches for the therapy of energy-metabolic diseases by stabilizing circadian rhythms and specifically manipulating appetite-regulatory clocks. In the work that now follows, Dr. Koch is analyzing the anatomical organization of circadian rhythms in homeostatic and hedonic aspects of appetite regulation via classical and viral-mediated genetic manipulations in the mouse as part of Collaborative Research Center 134 "Mechanisms of Appetite Regulation." In addition, she is investigating potential signaling pathways by which these processes may be regulated.

The research award of the Renate-Maaß-Foundation is dedicated to the appreciation of brain research at the University of Luebeck and its scientists. The University awards the award annually to one scientist up to the age of 35, with an endowment of 5.000 Euros.
Degree of recognitionLocal
Granting OrganisationsRenate-Maaß-Stiftung Lübeck

Awarded at event

Event titleUniversity Awards 2016
LocationRathaus der Hansestatdt Lübeck, Lübeck, GermanyShow on map
Period10.11.2016

Research Area or Academic Center

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)