Sponsored by the UCLA Brain Mapping Center Faculty

The focus of these talks is on advancing the use of brain mapping methods in neuroscience with an emphasis on contemporary issues of neuroplasticity, neurodevelopment, and biomarker development in neuropsychiatric disease.

Hosted By: Shantanu Joshi, PhD, Neurology, UCLA

“Adverse Environmental Stressors Impact Health: Perspectives from the Brain and Gut Microbiome ”

Arpana Church, PhD
Associate Professor
Co-Director, Goodman-Luskin Microbiome Center
Director, Neuroimaging Core
Director, Ingestive Behavior and Obesity Program
G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience
Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases
David Geffen School of Medicine

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The goal of the presentation is to show evidence for how environmental stressors “get under the skin” and are embedded in biology (specifically the brain-gut microbiome system) and are associated with increased risk for the development of adverse health outcomes such as obesity and altered eating behaviors. Obesity is a risk factor for many chronic diseases, and disproportionately affects ethnic minorities and women. These alarming projections have led to the National Institute of Health and Healthy People 2020 priority initiatives directed at reducing ethnic and sex disparities. By focusing on adverse environmental factors, we aim to bring to the forefront those individuals who are at increased risk to develop obesity as a result of disadvantaged backgrounds.

This talk will cover the topic of the brain gut microbiome system, how this system is involved in obesity and eating behaviors, and how this system is altered by environmental factors. We will present various studies demonstrating the influence of environmental factors on the brain gut microbiome system with examples highlighting increased risk for obesity.   

June 6, 2024 11:00am - 12:00pm PDT
Brain Mapping Center Room 221 and Zoom:
660 Charles E. Young Dr. South
For more information contact: Mary Susselman (,
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