My research group is interested in how neuropeptides regulate appetite, energy metabolism, physical activity, body composition and glucose homeostasis, and whether neuropeptide receptor(s)-targeted strategy would confer benefits for obesity treatment.

In addition, by using an activity-based anorexia mouse model established in my group, we are interested in finding out the central mechanisms underlying the paradoxical hyperactivity often observed in anorexia nervosa patients. The neuropeptides we are focusing on currently include neuropeptide Y family peptides and RFamide family peptides.

Selected Publications

Seimon RV, Shi YC, Slack K, Lee K, Fernando HA, Nguyen AD, Zhang L, Lin S, Enriquez RF, Lau J, Herzog H, Sainsbury A. Intermittent Moderate Energy Restriction Improves Weight Loss Efficiency in Diet-Induced Obese Mice. PLoS One, 2016; Jan 19;11(1):e0145157.

Qi Y, Purtell L, Fu M, Lee NJ, Aepler J, Zhang L, Loh K, Enriquez RF, BaldockPA, Zolotukhin S, Campbell LV, Herzog H. Snord116 is critical in the regulation of food intake and body weight. Sci Rep., 2016; Jan 4;6:18614.

Khor EC, Yulyaningsih E, Driessler F, Kovaĉić N, Wee NK, Kulkarni RN, Lee NJ, Enriquez RF, Xu J, Zhang L, Herzog H, Baldock PA. The y6 receptor suppresses bone resorption and stimulates bone formation in mice via a suprachiasmatic nucleus relay. Bone, 2016; Mar;84:139-47.  

Nguyen AD, Lee NJ, Wee NK, Zhang L, Enriquez RF, Khor EC, Nie T, Wu D, Sainsbury A, Baldock PA, Herzog H. Uncoupling protein-1 is protective of bone mass under mild cold stress conditions. Bone, 2015; Jun 6. pii: S8756-3282(15)00218-5.

Zhang L, Lee IC, Enriquez RF, Lau J, Vähätalo LH, Baldock PA, Savontaus E, Herzog H. Stress- and diet-induced fat gain is controlled by NPY in catecholaminergic neurons. Mol Metab., 2014; May 14;3(5):581-91.

Nguyen AD, Slack K, Schwarzer C, Lee NJ, Boey D, Macia L, Yulyaningsih E, Enriquez RF, Zhang L, Lin S, Shi YC, Baldock PA, Herzog H, Sainsbury A. Double deletion of orexigenic neuropeptide Y and dynorphin results in paradoxical obesity in mice. Neuropeptides, 2014; Jun;48(3):143-51.

Baldock PA, Lin S, Zhang L, Karl T, Shi Y, Driessler F, Zengin A, Hörmer B, Lee NJ, Wong IP, Lin EJ, Enriquez RF, Stehrer B, During MJ, Yulyaningsih E, Zolotukhin S, Ruohonen ST, Savontaus E, Sainsbury A, Herzog H. Neuropeptide Y attenuates stress-induced bone loss through suppression of noradrenaline circuits. J Bone Miner Res., 2014; Oct;29(10):2238-49.

Yulyaningsih E, Loh K, Lin S, Lau J, Zhang L, Shi Y, Berning BA, Enriquez R, Driessler F, Macia L, Khor EC, Qi Y, Baldock P, Sainsbury A, Herzog H. Pancreatic polypeptide controls energy homeostasis via Npy6r signaling in the suprachiasmatic nucleus in mice. Cell Metab., 2014; Jan 7;19(1):58-72.

Shi YC, Lau J, Lin Z, Zhang H, Zhai L, Sperk G, Heilbronn R, Mietzsch M, Weger S, Huang XF, Enriquez RF, Baldock PA, Zhang L, Sainsbury A, Herzog H, Lin S. Arcuate NPY controls sympathetic output and BAT function via a relay of tyrosine hydroxylase neurons in the PVN. Cell Metab., 2013; Feb 5;17(2):236-48.

Shi YC, Lau J, Lin A, Zhang H, Zhai L, Sperk G, Heilbronn R, Mietzsch M, Weger S, Huang XF, Enriquez RF, Castillo L, Baldock PA, Zhang L, Sainsbury A, Herzog H, Lin S. Arcuate NPY controls sympathetic output and BAT function via a relay of tyrosine hydroxylase neurons in the PVN. Cell Metabolism, 2013; 17(2):236-48.

Macia L, Bijker MS, Pangon L, Yulyaningsih E, Nguyen A, Lin S, Shi Y, Zhang L, Mackay F, Sainsbury, A.*& Herzog, H.* Y1 receptor signaling in immune cells is a master regulator of cytokines contributing to diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance. Diabetes, 2012; 61(12):3228-38.

Shi YC, Hämmerle C, Lee ICJ, Turner N, Nguyen AD, Riepler SJ, Lin S, Sainsbury A, Herzog H, Zhang L. Adult-onset PYY overexpression in mice reduces food intake and increases lipogenic capacity. Neuropeptides, 2012; 46(4):173-82.

Zhang L, Nguyen AD, Lee ICJ, Yulyaningsih E, Riepler SJ, Stehrer B, Enriquez RF, Lin S, Shi YC, Baldock PA, Sainsbury A, Herzog H. NPY modulates PYY function in the regulation of energy balance and glucose homeostasis. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, 2012; 14(8):727-36.

Zhang L. “Voluntary oral administration of drugs in mice” Protocol Exchange (2011) DOI: 10.1038/protex.2011.236

Zhang L, Riepler SJ, Turner N, Enriquez RF, I-Chieh Lee, Baldock PA, Herbert H and Sainsbury A. Y2 and Y4 receptor signalling synergistically act on energy expenditure and physical activity. American Journal of Physiology – regulatory, integral and comparative physiology, 2010; 229 (6): R1618-28.

Cox HM, Tough IR, Woolston A, Zhang L, Nguyen AD, Sanisbury A, Herzog H. Peptide YY is critical for Acylethanolamine receptor Gpr119-induced activation of gastrointestinal mucosal responses. Cell Metabolism, 2010 Jun 9; 11(6): 532-42.

Zhang L, Lee NJ, Nguyen AD, Enriquez RF, Riepler SJ, Stehrer B, Yulyaningsih E, Lin S, Shi YC, Baldock PA, Herzog H and Sainsbury A. Additive actions of the cannabinoid and neuropeptide Y systems on adiposity and lipid oxidation. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, 2010; 12: 591-603.

Zhang L. Macia L, Turner N, Enriquez RF, Riepler SJ, Nguyen AD, Lin S, Lee NJ, Shi YC, Yulyaningsih E, Slack K, Baldock PA, Herzog H and Sainsbury A. Peripheral neuropeptide Y Y1-receptors regulate oxidation and fat accretion. International Journal of Obesity (Lond), 2010; 34(2):357-73.


Zhang L, Yagi M, Herzog H. The role of NPY and ghrelin in anorexia nervosa. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 2012; 18(31):4766-78.

Sainsbury A, Zhang L. Role of the hypothalamus in the neuroendocrine regulation of body weight and composition during energy deficit. Obesity Review, 2011; Nov 10.

Zhang L, Martijn S. Bijker and Herzog H. The Neuropeptide Y System: Pathophysiological and Therapeutic Implications in Obesity and Cancer. Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 2011.

Sainsbury A and Zhang L. Role of the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus in the regulation of body weight during energy deficit. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 2010; 316(2):109-19. 

More Garvan Publications

Staff in the Group

In the News

Group Leader

Dr Lei Zhang

Diseases We Research
Anorexia Nervosa

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