Sangho Yu

Assistant Professor - Research

(225) 763-2808
(225) 763-0260
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B.S., 2003, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea
Ph.D., 2009, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX


Energy balance is controlled by intricate interplays between neural circuits regulating feeding behavior (energy in) and energy expenditure (energy out). These two arms of energy balance are influenced by many environmental, physiological, and psychological stimuli. We are interested in molecular and neural mechanisms that integrate these stimuli and translate them into autonomic, hormonal, or behavioral outputs. We take advantage of state-of-the-art mouse genetics and viral tools to monitor and manipulate neuronal activities. Currently we are actively investigating the following areas:

1) The central role of the transcription factor Zbtb16 in coordinating responses to energy deficit.
2) The mechanism of the endocrine hormone Fgf21 in regulating energy expenditure in response to protein restriction.
3) The mechanism of the endocrine hormone Fgf21 in coordinating adaptive changes in food intake in response to protein restriction.


Cheng H, Pablico SJ, Lee J, Chang JS, Yu S. Zinc Finger Transcription Factor Zbtb16 Coordinates the Response to Energy Deficit in the Mouse Hypothalamus. Front Neurosci. 2020;14:592947. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2020.592947. eCollection 2020. PubMed PMID: 33335471; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7736175.

Yu S, Cheng H, François M, Qualls-Creekmore E, Huesing C, He Y, Jiang Y, Gao H, Xu Y, Zsombok A, Derbenev AV, Nillni EA, Burk DH, Morrison CD, Berthoud HR, Münzberg H. Preoptic leptin signaling modulates energy balance independent of body temperature regulation. Elife. 2018 May 15;7. pii: e33505. doi: 10.7554/eLife.33505. PubMed PMID: 29761783.

François M, Qualls-Creekmore E, Berthoud HR, Münzberg H, Yu S. Genetics-based manipulation of adipose tissue sympathetic innervation. Physiol Behav. 2018 Jun 1;190:21-27. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.08.024. Epub 2017 Aug 30. Review. PubMed PMID: 28859876; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5832526.

Yu S, François M, Huesing C, Münzberg H. The Hypothalamic Preoptic Area and Body Weight Control. Neuroendocrinology. 2018;106(2):187-194. doi: 10.1159/000479875. Epub 2017 Aug 10. PubMed PMID: 28772276.

Qualls-Creekmore E, Yu S, Francois M, Hoang J, Huesing C, Bruce-Keller A, Burk D, Berthoud HR, Morrison CD, Münzberg H. Galanin-Expressing GABA Neurons in the Lateral Hypothalamus Modulate Food Reward and Noncompulsive Locomotion. J Neurosci. 2017 Jun 21;37(25):6053-6065. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0155-17.2017. Epub 2017 May 24. PubMed PMID: 28539422; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5481941.

Yu S, Qualls-Creekmore E, Rezai-Zadeh K, Jiang Y, Berthoud HR, Morrison CD, Derbenev AV, Zsombok A, Münzberg H. Glutamatergic Preoptic Area Neurons That Express Leptin Receptors Drive Temperature-Dependent Body Weight Homeostasis. J Neurosci. 2016 May 4;36(18):5034-46. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0213-16.2016. PubMed PMID: 27147656; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4854966. ^ top