Prof Herbert Herzog
15 January 2009
Professor Herbert Herzog, Head of Garvan’s Neuroscience program, will receive the Viktor Mutt Award later this month from the International Regulatory Peptide Society for his substantial contributions in the field of peptide research, particularly in Neuropeptide Y (NPY) research.
The award, presented biennially, was established in recognition of the fundamental research of Professor Viktor Mutt in the field of gastrointestinal peptide hormones and neuropeptides. He was the discoverer of numerous novel peptide hormones and neurotransmitters, including NPY.
Professor Herzog’s work on NPY spans 17 years. He was the first to clone an NPY receptor and has since identified and cloned several new members of this gene family. In addition, his lab has generated a complete set of germline and conditional knockout as well as transgenic animal models for the NPY system.
Research into the function of the NPY system by Prof Herzog’s group has resulted in more then 140 publications including many in high profile journals including Nature, Nature Medicine, Cell Metabolism, PNAS, J. Exp. Med. and JCI. Much of this work has expanded our understanding of the role this molecule plays in a wide variety of areas including regulation of appetite and satiety, immune function, stress and bone density.
For example, in 2007 Herzog published a paper in Nature Medicine outlining the mechanisms by which NPY, which the body releases when stressed, can prompt fat cells to grow and multiply, leading to obesity under conditions of chronic stress.
At present, he continues to investigate the intricate pathways between the brain and Y receptors, which play a critical role in regulating bone density and fat tissue.
Professor Herzog will be presented with the Viktor Mutt Award in Santa Barbara, California, where he will be giving a plenary lecture on 26 January at the 17th International Symposium on Regulatory Peptides.