David E. Cummings, MD
David E. Cummings, M.D. is an Associate Professor of Medicine, in the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition at the University of Washington and the V.A. Puget Sound Health Care System. His laboratory seeks to elucidate the hormonal and neurochemical pathways that regulate appetite and body weight, using experiments ranging from bench science to clinical investigation. His major research focus is on the gut-brain axis, with particular current emphasis on clarifying the physiologic and pharmacologic actions of ghrelin, a recently discovered appetite-stimulating hormone. Produced primarily by the stomach, ghrelin is implicated in the short-term control of mealtime hunger as well as in the long-term regulation of body weight. Related research interests of Dr. Cummings include the following: (1) delineating hormonal mechanisms mediating the effects of bariatric surgery on body weight and glucose homeostasis; (2) understanding the interplay between homeostatic and hedonic pathways governing energy homeostasis; and (3) developing magnetic resonance spectroscopy methods to quantify specific molecules in living human brain regions, in order to translate knowledge of the neurobiology of appetite regulation gleaned from animal studies into clinical investigation.