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John Campbell

John Campbell headshot
Assistant Professor, Biology; Assistant Professor (courtesy appointment), Neuroscience

Research Disciplines: Single-cell genomics, RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization, viral circuit mapping, opto-/chemogenetics

Research Interests: appetite, energy balance, the vagus nerve, parasympathetic control of digestion, metabolism, and heart rate

Research Description:

To find new targets and treatments for obesity and digestive diseases, my lab is conducting basic science research into the neural circuits that control appetite, digestion, and metabolism. Our approach uses single-cell transcriptomics to systematically identify cell types and their marker genes in functionally relevant brain regions and to generate hypotheses about each cell type’s physiological role. The marker genes give us genetic access to each cell type of interest, through marker-driven recombinase-expressing mouse strains and precisely targeted injections of recombinase-dependent viral vectors. Applying this genetic technology, we map, monitor, and manipulate the activity of specific neuron populations, revealing their synaptic circuitry and physiological function. This approach uncovers the specific roles of each genetically defined cell type and circuits in energy balance and yields new molecular targets for treating obesity and digestive disease.

Selected Publications:

(for a complete list on PubMed click here)

  • Liu Y*, Savier EL*, DePiero VJ, Chen C, Schwalbe DC, Abraham-Fan RJ, Chen H, Campbell JN#, Cang J#. Mapping visual functions onto molecular cell types in the mouse superior colliculus. Neuron. 2023 Jun 21;111(12):1876-1886.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2023.03.036. Epub 2023 Apr 21. PMID: 37086721; PMCID: PMC10330256. *equal contributing first authors; # co-corresponding authors
  • Coverdell TC, Abraham-Fan RJ, Wu C, Abbott SBG, Campbell JN. Genetic encoding of an esophageal motor circuit. Cell Rep. 2022 Jun 14;39(11):110962. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110962. PMID: 35705034. *equal contributing senior authors;  # corresponding author
  • Tao J*, Campbell JN*#, Tsai LT, Wu C, Liberles SD, Lowell BB#. Highly selective brain-to-gut communication via genetically defined vagus neurons. Neuron. 2021 Jul 7;109(13):2106-2115.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2021.05.004. Epub 2021 Jun 1. PMID: 34077742; PMCID: PMC8273126. *equal contributing first authors; # co-corresponding authors