Andrea Zsombok, PhDAndrea Zsombok, PhD

Tulane University School of Medicine
Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology and Department of Medicine, Section of Endocrinology

Central control of glucose homeostasis in health and diabetes


Dr. Zsombok is a neuroscientist who received her initial education and earned her PhD in Neurobiology from the University of Pecs, Hungary. Following completion of her PhD she joined the laboratory of Dr. Kimberle Jacobs at the Virginia Commonwealth University to study cellular plasticity, and continued her scientific development as a post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Bret N. Smith at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. In Dr. Smith’s laboratory she was conducting innovative research in cellular neuroscience investigating hypothalamic and brainstem circuits. Dr. Zsombok was recruited to the Department of Physiology and Medicine, Endocrinology Section at Tulane University in 2009, where she is currently assistant professor.

Ongoing research projects related to diabetes and obesity

Dr. Zsombok’s lab focuses on understanding the fundamental relationship between the central nervous system and glucose homeostasis in health and diabetes. Brain regulation of glucose homeostasis has always been a potentially important avenue for diabetes research and treatment, and the recent availability of precise new experimental approaches has now made this potential a reality. Manipulation of specific neurons with viral gene delivery or the availability of retrograde viral tracers allowing identification of tissue specific preautonomic neurons offers a revolutionary approach for the control of glycemic status. Dr. Zsombok’ research focuses on the regulation of glucose homeostasis via the hypothalamus and brainstem and investigates the role of TRP channels, particularly TRPV1 in glucose metabolism. Part of this key data resulted in nationally and internationally recognized publications (e.g., Diabetes, 2012). Her expertise includes electrophysiological as well as anatomical, immunohistochemical, retrograde tracer approaches and in vivo brain injections.

Lab Members

Kayoko Miyata, PhD – Postdoctoral Fellow
Yanyan Jiang – Graduate Student
Melisa Valmoria – Undergraduate Student

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