He holds the key to defeating obesity
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He holds the key to defeating obesity

Tony Tiganis is a Professor and Deputy Head (Research) of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Monash University. He is Head of the cellular signalling and human disease Tiganis Laboratory.

Professor Tiganis is focused on uncovering the pathways involved in human disease states, including obesity, diabetes and metabolic disorders.

He was educated at The University of Melbourne. In 1999, he attained NHMRC project grant support & established a laboratory focused on the regulation & function of protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTPs).

In 2000, he set up the independent Tiganis Laboratory in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at Monash University. He is also Deputy Head (Research) of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and and a NHMRC Principal Research Fellow. His general research interest is in understanding cellular signaling networks in human disease, with a specific focus on the roles of protein tyrosine phosphatases in metabolism, cancer and adaptive immunity.

Tiganis and his team focus on the combined action of two hormones, providing the scientific community with fresh ideas about the way the human brain stimulates the burning of body fat, according to him.

The process conjured by Tiganis relates to leptin, a hormone produced by fat acting to suppress hunger, and insulin, produced by the pancreas in response to the levels of glucose in the blood, after a meal. Both of these hormones convey to the brain the amount of energy stored in the body and how much more is likely to be stored as a result of consumption. Once the energy levels are received by the brain the body converts stored white fat into brown fat (energy burn).

Tiganis has seen effective results in studies on mice to suggest that this process may actually be the cause of weight gain and obesity.